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Supervision system to prevent harm or risks to life threatening situation to children.

This research work is centered on providing sufficient supervision system that is capable of reducing the chances of harm or risks to life threatening situation in children. The scholars are concern mainly with the aspect of children neglect (supervision).
This research work was greatly and further inspired by the death of Renfred Okonigene, who was born on March 14, 2014 and drowned in a well on February 11, 2017. The proposed system to be developed is therefore to be called “RENFRED OKONIGENE CHILDREN PROTECTION SYSTEM NETWORK”. The final system is to be developed, taking into consideration, most regions of Africa and Asia where there is poverty. This research work is still at its early stage.


Using ECC DRAM to Adaptively Increase Memory Capacity

Abstract: Modern DRAM modules are often equipped with hardware error correction capabilities, especially for DRAM deployed in large-scale data centers, as process technology scaling has increased the susceptibility of these devices to errors. To provide fast error detection and correction, error-correcting codes (ECC) are placed on an additional DRAM chip in a DRAM module. This additional chip expands the raw capacity of a DRAM module by 12.5%, but the applications are unable to use any of this extra capacity, as it is used exclusively to provide reliability for all data. In reality, there are a number of applications that do not need such strong reliability for all their data regions (e.g., some user batch jobs executing on a public cloud), and can instead benefit from using additional DRAM capacity to store extra data. Our goal in this work is to provide the additional capacity within an ECC DRAM module to applications when they do not need the high reliability of error correction. In this paper, we propose Capacity- and Reliability-Adaptive Memory (CREAM), a hardware mechanism that adapts error correcting DRAM modules to offer multiple levels of error protection, and provides the capacity saved from using weaker protection to applications. For regions of memory that do not require strong error correction, we either provide no ECC protection or provide error detection using multibit parity. We evaluate several layouts for arranging the data within ECC DRAM in these reduced-protection modes, taking into account the various trade-offs exposed from exploiting the extra chip. Our experiments show that the increased capacity provided by CREAM improves performance by 23.0% for a memory caching workload, and by 37.3% for a commercial web search workload executing production query traces. In addition, CREAM can increase bank-level parallelism within DRAM, offering further performance improvements.

Pub.: 28 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Green design of a paper test card for urinary iodine analysis.

Abstract: When young children do not receive adequate amounts of the micronutrient iodine in their diet, their growth and cognitive development can be impaired. Nearly every country in the world has programs in place to track iodine intake and provide supplemental iodine if needed, usually in the form of fortified salt. The iodine nutrition status of a population can be tracked by monitoring iodine levels in urine samples to see if the median value falls in the range of 100-300 micrograms of iodine per liter of urine (μg I/L), which indicates adequate or more than adequate iodine nutrition. Many low and middle-income countries (LMIC) do not have a laboratory capable of carrying out this challenging assay, so samples must be sent out for assay in external labs, which is expensive and time-consuming. In most LMIC, population iodine surveys are carried out every 5-10 years, which limits the utility of the data for program monitoring and evaluation. To solve this problem, we developed a field-friendly paper test card that uses the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction to measure urinary iodine levels. A blind internal validation study showed that 93% of samples (n = 60) of iodide in an artificial urine matrix were categorized correctly by visual analysis as deficient, adequate, or excessive for levels set forth by the World Health Organization. Quantitative measurements based on computer image analysis had an error of 40 ± 20 μg I/L (n = 35 for samples in the calibration range) and these results categorized 88% of the samples (n = 60) correctly. We employed lifecycle analysis principles to address the known toxicity of arsenic, which is an obligatory reagent in the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction. Disposal of the cards in a landfill (their most likely destination after use) could let arsenic leach into groundwater; toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) tests showed that the level of arsenic leached from the cards was 28.78 ppm, which is above the United States Environmental Protection Agency's limit of 5 parts per million for solid waste. We integrated a remediation module into the card. This module contains oxone, to oxidize As(III) to As(V) oxyacids, and the iron oxide goethite. TCLP testing showed that the leachable amount of arsenic was reduced by at least 97.6%-from 28.8 ppm to lower than 0.7 ± 0.7 ppm (n = 20). This upstream intervention rendered the test card suitable for landfilling while retaining its functionality to perform a critical public health evaluation.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

To what extent can ecosystem services motivate protecting biodiversity?

Abstract: Society increasingly focuses on managing nature for the services it provides people rather than for the existence of particular species. How much biodiversity protection would result from this modified focus? Although biodiversity contributes to ecosystem services, the details of which species are critical, and whether they will go functionally extinct in the future, are fraught with uncertainty. Explicitly considering this uncertainty, we develop an analytical framework to determine how much biodiversity protection would arise solely from optimising net value from an ecosystem service. Using stochastic dynamic programming, we find that protecting a threshold number of species is optimal, and uncertainty surrounding how biodiversity produces services makes it optimal to protect more species than are presumed critical optimal. We define conditions under which the economically optimal protection strategy is to protect all species, no species, and cases in between. We show how the optimal number of species to protect depends upon different relationships between species and services, including considering multiple services. Our analysis provides simple criteria to evaluate when managing for particular ecosystem services could warrant protecting all species, given uncertainty. Evaluating this criterion with empirical estimates from different ecosystems suggests that optimising some services will be more likely to protect most species than others.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Thermal buffering capacity of the germination phenotype across the environmental envelope of the Cactaceae.

Abstract: Recruitment from seeds is among the most vulnerable stage for plants as global temperatures change. While germination is the means by which the vast majority of the world's flora regenerate naturally, a framework for accurately predicting which species are at greatest risk of germination failure during environmental perturbation is lacking. Taking a physiological approach, we assess how one family, the Cactaceae, may respond to global temperature change based on the thermal buffering capacity of the germination phenotype. We selected 55 cactus species from the Americas, all geo-referenced seed collections, reflecting the broad environmental envelope of the family across 70° of latitude and 3700 m of altitude. We then generated empirical data of the thermal germination response from which we estimated the minimum (Tb ), optimum (To ) and ceiling (Tc ) temperature for germination and the thermal time (θ50 ) for each species based on the linearity of germination rate with temperature. Species with the highest Tb and lowest Tc germinated fastest, and the interspecific sensitivity of the germination rate to temperature, as assessed through θ50 , varied 10-fold. A left-skewed asymmetry in the germination rate with temperature was relatively common but the unimodal pattern typical of crop species failed for nearly half of the species due to insensitivity to temperature change at To . For 32 fully characterised species, seed thermal parameters correlated strongly with the mean temperature of the wettest quarter of the seed collection sites. By projecting the mean temperature of the wettest quarter under two climate change scenarios, we predict under the least conservative scenario (+3.7 °C) that 25% of cactus species will have reduced germination performance, whilst the remainder will have an efficiency gain, by the end of the 21st century. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

The Carbon monoxide releasing molecule ALF-186 mediates anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects via the soluble guanylate cyclase ß1 in rats' retinal ganglion cells after ischemia and reperfusion injury.

Abstract: The endogenously produced gaseous molecule carbon monoxide is able to promote organ protection after ischemia-reperfusion injuries (IRI). The impact of carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORM) regarding inflammation in neuronal tissues has not been studied in detail. In this investigation, we aimed to analyze the effects of the CORM ALF-186 on neuro-inflammation and hypothesized that the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) is playing a decisive role.Retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury was performed for 60 min in Sprague-Dawley rats. Thereafter, the CORM ALF-186 (10 mg/kg) in the presence or absence of the sGC inhibitor ODQ was injected via a tail vein. Retinal tissue was harvested 24 h later to analyze mRNA or protein expression of sGC-β1 subunit, transcription factors NF-κB and CREB, the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6, as well as the heat shock proteins (HSP) HSP-70 and HSP-90. Immunohistochemistry was performed on frozen sections of the retina. The overall neuroprotective effect of ALF-186 was assessed by counting fluorogold-pre-labeled retinal ganglion cells (RGC) 7 days after IRI.Ischemia-reperfusion mediated loss of vital RGC was attenuated by the administration of ALF-186 after injury. ALF-186 treatment after IRI induced sGC-ß1 leading to a decreased NF-κB and CREB phosphorylation. Consecutively, ALF-186 mitigated IRI induced TNF-α and IL-6 expression in the retina and in the rats' serum. Moreover, ALF-186 attenuated heat shock protein 70 (Hsp-70) while increasing Hsp-90. The sGC-inhibitor ODQ attenuated the anti-inflammatory effects of ALF-186 and increased retinal loss of ganglion cells. These results were confirmed by immunohistochemistry.The CORM ALF-186 protected RGC from IRI induced loss. Furthermore, ALF-186 reduced IRI mediated neuroinflammation in the retina and in the serum by activating sGC. Inhibition of sGC stopped the beneficial and protective effects of ALF-186. ALF-186 may present a promising therapeutic alternative in treating inflammation after neuronal IRI.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Iterative Assessment of Statistically-Oriented and Standard Algorithms for Determining Muscle Onset with Intramuscular Electromyography.

Abstract: The onset of muscle activity, as measured by electromyography (EMG), is a commonly applied metric in biomechanics. Intramuscular EMG is often used to examine deep musculature and there are currently no studies examining the effectiveness of algorithms for intramuscular EMG onset. The present study examines standard surface EMG onset algorithms (linear envelope, Teager-Kaiser Energy Operator, and Sample Entropy) and novel algorithms (time series mean-variance analysis, sequential/batch processing with parametric and nonparametric methods, and Bayesian changepoint analysis). Thirteen male and five female subjects had intramuscular EMG collected during isolated biceps brachii and vastus lateralis contractions, resulting in 103 trials. EMG onset was visually determined twice by three blinded reviewers. Since the reliability of visual onset was high (ICC(1,1): 0.92), the mean of the six visual assessments was contrasted with the algorithmic approaches. Poorly performing algorithms were stepwise eliminated via 1) root mean square error analysis, 2) algorithm failure to identify onset/premature onset, 3) linear regression analysis, and 4) Bland-Altman plots. The top performing algorithms were all based on Bayesian changepoint analysis of rectified EMG and were statistically indistinguishable from visual analysis. Bayesian changepoint analysis has the potential to produce more reliable, accurate, and objective intramuscular EMG onset results than standard methodologies.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Appropriate Use of Effective Dose in Radiation Protection and Risk Assessment.

Abstract: Effective dose was introduced by the ICRP for the single, over-arching purpose of setting limits for radiation protection. Effective dose is a derived quantity or mathematical construct and not a physical, measurable quantity. The formula for calculating effective dose to a reference model incorporates terms to account for all radiation types, organ and tissue radiosensitivities, population groups, and multiple biological endpoints. The properties and appropriate applications of effective dose are not well understood by many within and outside the health physics profession; no other quantity in radiation protection has been more confusing or misunderstood. According to ICRP Publication 103, effective dose is to be used for "prospective dose assessment for planning and optimization in radiological protection, and retrospective demonstration of compliance for regulatory purposes." In practice, effective dose has been applied incorrectly to predict cancer risk among exposed persons. The concept of effective dose applies generally to reference models only and not to individual subjects. While conceived to represent a measure of cancer risk or heritable detrimental effects, effective dose is not predictive of future cancer risk. The formula for calculating effective dose incorporates committee-selected weighting factors for radiation quality and organ sensitivity; however, the organ weighting factors are averaged across all ages and both genders and thus do not apply to any specific individual or radiosensitive subpopulations such as children and young women. Further, it is not appropriate to apply effective dose to individual medical patients because patient-specific parameters may vary substantially from the assumptions used in generalized models. Also, effective dose is not applicable to therapeutic uses of radiation, as its mathematical underpinnings pertain only to observed late (stochastic) effects of radiation exposure and do not account for short-term adverse tissue reactions. The weighting factors incorporate substantial uncertainties, and linearity of the dose-response function at low dose is uncertain and highly disputed. Since effective dose is not predictive of future cancer incidence, it follows that effective dose should never be used to estimate future cancer risk from specific sources of radiation exposure. Instead, individual assessments of potential detriment should only be based on organ or tissue radiation absorbed dose, together with best scientific understanding of the corresponding dose-response relationships.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Three-Dimensional Echocardiography-Derived Non-Invasive Right Ventricular Pressure-Volume Analysis.

Abstract: In patients with pulmonary hypertension, repeated evaluations of right ventricular (RV) function are still required for clinical decision making, but the invasive nature of current pressure-volume analysis makes conducting regular follow-ups in a clinical setting infeasible. We enrolled 12 patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and 10 with pulmonary venous hypertension (PVH) May 2016-October 2016. All patients underwent a clinically indicated right heart catheterization (RHC), from which the yielded right ventricular pressure recordings were conjugated with RV volume by 3-D echocardiography to generate a pressure-volume loop. A continuous-wave Doppler envelope of tricuspid regurgitation was transformed into a pressure gradient recording by the simplified Bernoulli equation, and then a systolic pressure gradient-volume (PG-V) diagram was generated from similar methods. The area enclosed by the pressure-volume loop was calculated to represent semi-invasive right ventricular stroke work (RVSWRHC). The area between the PG-V diagram and x-axis was calculated to estimate non-invasive RVSW (RVSWecho). Patients with PAH have higher RV pressure, lower pulmonary arterial wedge pressure and larger RV volume that was contributed by the dilation of RV mid-cavity minor dimension. We found no significant difference of traditional parameters between these two groups, but RVSW values were significantly higher in PAH patients. The RVSW values of these two methods were significantly correlated by the equation RVSWecho = 0.8447 RVSWRHC + 129.38 (R(2) = 0.9151, p < 0.001). The linearity remained satisfactory in both groups. We conclude that a PG-V diagram is a reliable method to estimate RVSW and to depict pathophysiological status.

Pub.: 29 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17

Contextualizing case reviews: A methodology for developing systemic safeguarding practices

Abstract: This paper introduces a systemic methodology for reviewing professional responses to abuse between young people. The approach, “contextual case reviewing,” draws upon constructivist structuralism to assess the extent to which safeguarding practices engage with the social and public contexts of abuse. The paper conceptually compares the methodologies of contextual case review and other serious case review methods before drawing upon findings from 2 studies, which used the contextual case review methodology to explore the extrafamilial nature of peer-on-peer abuse and the ability of child protection practices to engage with this dynamic. Thematic findings from these studies regarding the practical interpretation of “significant harm” and “capacity to safeguard,” as well as their use within child protection assessments, are used to challenge conclusions of other case reviews, which imply that child protection procedures are sufficient for safeguarding young people. Contextual case reviews suggest that safeguarding practices, and the legislation that underpins them, are culturally, procedurally, and organisationally wedded to the context of the home, whereas insufficiently engaged with extrafamilial contexts of significant harm. The application of these issues require interrogation if social work systems are to provide sufficient mechanisms for safeguarding young people and families at risk of significant harm.

Pub.: 27 Jun '17, Pinned: 01 Jul '17