Fijn, R, Van den Bemt, P. M. L. A, Chow, M, De Blaey, C. J, De Jong-Van den Berg, L. T. W, and Brouwers, J. R. B. J
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Mar2002, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p326-331. 6p. 2 Charts.
RATINGS of hospitals and MEDICATION errors
Aims To demonstrate an epidemiological method to assess predictors of prescribing errors. Methods A retrospective case-control study, comparing prescriptions with and without errors. Results Only prescriber and drug characteristics were associated with errors. Prescriber characteristics were medical specialty (e.g. orthopaedics: OR: 3.4, 95% CI 2.1, 5.4) and prescriber status (e.g. verbal orders transcribed by nursing staff: OR: 2.5, 95% CI 1.8, 3.6). Drug characteristics were dosage form (e.g. inhalation devices: OR: 4.1, 95% CI 2.6, 6.6), therapeutic area (e.g. gastrointestinal tract: OR: 1.7, 95% CI 1.2, 2.4) and continuation of preadmission treatment (Yes: OR: 1.7, 95% CI 1.3, 2.3). Conclusions Other hospitals could use our epidemiological framework to identify their own error predictors. Our findings suggest a focus on specific prescribers, dosage forms and therapeutic areas. We also found that prescriptions originating from general practitioners involved errors and therefore, these should be checked when patients are hospitalized. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Aims: To study the influence of culture preservation methods and culture conditions on the production of the mycotoxins patulin and citrinin by Penicillium expansum . Methods and results: Ten strains of Penicillium expansum were preserved using subculture and maintenance at 4 °C, mineral oil, drying on silica gel and freeze-drying. Patulin and citrinin production was assessed on yeast extract sucrose agar (YES) and grape juice agar (GJ), using TLC before and after 0·5, 2–3, 6 and 12 months preservation. Citrinin was detected in all cultures for all preservation techniques on YES. The patulin profiles obtained differed with strain and culture media used. Conclusions: Citrinin production seems to be a stable character for the tested strains. There is a tendency for patulin detection with time apparently more consistent for silica gel storage and freeze-drying, especially when the strains are grown on GJ. Significance and Impact of the Study: Variability in the profiles of the mycotoxins tested seems to be more strain-specific than dependent on the preservation technique used. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Wilson, Richard H., Moncrieff, Deborah W., Townsend, Elizabeth A., and Pillion, Amanda L.
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. Jan2003, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p1-8. 8p. 1 Chart, 2 Graphs.
AUDITORY evoked response, AUDITORY perception, HEARING, and COMPACT discs
The purpose of this series of experiments was to develop a simple, 500-Hz masking-level difference (MLD) protocol that could be implemented easily in the clinic to assess auditory perceptual abilities using an audio compact disc. Five, 300-ms tones with 250-ms intertone intervals were embedded in 3-s bursts of 200-800 Hz noise presented at 42.2-dB pressure-spectrum level with 4-5 s interstimulus intervals. The homophasic and antiphasic conditions were interleaved with the signal-to noise ratios decreasing in 2-dB steps. A single-interval, "yes/no" response task was used. Three experiments were performed on 24-28 listeners with normal hearing. The mean SoNo thresholds (58.1- to 59.5-dB SPL) and the mean SπNo thresholds (45.1- to 46.0-dB SPL) produced ∼13-dB MLDs. Experiment 3 included a SoNπ condition that had a mean threshold of 48.8-dB SPL and a 10.0-dB MLD. The mean test, retest of the SoNo and SπNo thresholds on 15 listeners was <0.5 dB. Over the three experiments, 95% of the listeners had SπNo MLDs that were ≥10 dB. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Summary This work was initiated to integrate an image analysis system and a prediction equation to support decisions for post-emergence herbicide applications under field conditions. Data were collected from 1999 to 2001 in 32 commercial fields to obtain weed cover data at the three to four leaf stage of maize (Zea mays L.), and crop yield at maturity. Relative crop yield was predicted using a non-linear sigmoidal equation with relative weed cover as the predictor variable (P < 0.0001; R [sup 2] = 0.39). The decision procedure consists of using the equation within the limits of a yield loss threshold that represents the loss one is willing to tolerate. The tolerance threshold (TT) allows determination of a weed threshold (WT). The procedure considers the variability around the prediction equation by setting the WT at the intersection between the lower 95% confidence interval of the prediction line and the TT. It also considers the variability around the weed cover estimate. For a given field, the decision is made by comparing the average weed cover corrected for sampling error, to the WT. We tested the performance of the decision procedure and found it could lead to a saving of 25% of herbicide use. We also computed a probability table showing the chances of getting relative yield above or below the TT. We suggest using the probability table in combination with the decision procedure to manage risks. The proposed approach does not offer a set ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer but rather provides a framework to support decisions by producers who ultimately must manage the risks. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
RUBIACEAE, WEEDS, PLANT viruses, SEED industry, and ERIOPHYIDAE
Galium spurium L. (Rubiaceae), native to Europe, is an increasingly serious annual weed of cultivated crops in the prairie provinces of Canada. The gall mite Cecidophyes rouhollahi Craemer (Acari, Eriophyidae), originally found on the related plant species Galium aparine L. in southern France, was evaluated as a potential biological control agent for G. spurium. In greenhouse tests, C. rouhollahi caused severe stunting and complete prevention of seed production by G. spurium. Host specificity tests showed that C. rouhollahi developed only on three closely related annual Galium species in the Kolgyda section. No native North American Galium species were attacked, with the exception of G. aparine. A review of available information on G. aparine suggests that it is probably an introduced species in North America. It has been reported that a related gall mite attacking G. aparine might be associated with a plant virus. A series of tests on a greenhouse colony of G. spurium infested with C. rouhollahi showed no evidence of viral infection. On the basis of these results, C. rouhollahi has been approved for field release against G. spurium in Canada. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
PROSTATE cancer, EPITHELIAL cells, ESTROGEN, and STEROLS
Estradiol rapidly activates Src as well as the Src-dependent pathway in human mammary cancer-derived MCF-7 cells, in human prostate cancer-derived LNCaP cells and in Cos cells transiently expressing hERs [EMBO J. 15 (1996) 1292; EMBO J. 17 (1998) 2008]. In addition, estradiol immediately stimulates, yes, an ubiquitous member of the Src kinase family, in human colon carcinoma-derived Caco-2 cells [Cancer Res. 56 (1996) 4516]. Progestins and androgens activate the same pathway in human mammary and prostate cancer-derived cells [EMBO J. 17 (1998) 2008; EMBO J. 19 (2000) 5406]. We observed that estradiol also stimulates the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway in MCF-7 cells [EMBO J. 20 (2001) 6050]. In these cells, activation of the Src- and the PI3 K-dependent pathways is simultaneous and mediated by direct interactions of the two kinases with ERα. The signalling pathway activation by sex-steroid hormones leads to DNA synthesis and cell growth in human mammary and prostate cancer-derived cells [EMBO J. 19 (2000) 5406; EMBO J. 20 (2001) 6050; EMBO J. 18 (1999) 2500]. Furthermore, androgen stimulation of NIH3T3 fibroblasts activates the same pathways triggered by this hormone in LNCaP cells and promotes the S-phase entry or cytoskeleton changes in these cells [J. Cell Biol. 161 (2003) 547]. All the described effects are rapid and require classic steroid receptors, but, surprisingly, not their transcriptional activity. Indeed, a transcriptionally inactive mutant of hER mediates the estrogen-stimulated DNA synthesis of NIH3T3 fibroblasts [EMBO J. 18 (1999) 2500]. Furthermore, AR in NIH3T3 cells does not enter nuclei and is unable to respond to the hormone with transcription stimulation, whereas it activates signaling pathways and triggers important biological responses.Signaling pathway activation by steroids has also been described by other groups under different experimental conditions and/or in different cell types. In these cells, steroid stimulation triggers various effects, such as neuroprotection, vasorelaxation or bone protection [J. Neurosci. Res. 60 (2000) 321; Nature 407 (2000) 538; J. Cell Biochem. 76 (1999) 206]. Analysis of the mechanisms responsible for the hormone-dependent and steroid receptor-mediated pathway activation in epithelial as well as stromal cells reveals immediate association of steroid receptors with extranuclear signaling effectors [EMBO J. 17 (1998) 2008; Cancer Res. 56 (1996) 4516; EMBO J. 19 (2000) 5406; EMBO J. 20 (2001) 6050; J. Cell Biol. 161 (2003) 547]. These results further highlight the central role of the hormone-regulated protein–protein interactions in the steroid action. They also offer the possibility of interfering with important activities of hormones, such as proliferation or survival, cytoskeleton changes as well as invasiveness and vasorelaxation, without affecting the steroid effects that depend on receptor transcriptional activity. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]
ARTIFICIAL neural networks, COMPUTER architecture, EMBEDDED computer systems, PRODUCTION scheduling, and ESTIMATION theory
Real-time embedded systems are spreading to more and more new fields and their scope and complexity have grown dramatically in the last few years. Nowadays, real-time embedded computers or controllers can be found everywhere, both in very simple devices used in everyday life and in professional environments. Real-time embedded systems have to take into account robustness, safety and timeliness. The most-used schedulability analysis is the worst-case response time proposed by Joseph and Pandya (Comput J 29:390-395,1986). This test provides a bivaluated response (yes/no) indicating whether the processes will meet their corresponding deadlines or not. Nevertheless, sometimes the real-time designer might want to know, more exactly, the probability of the processes meeting their deadlines, in order to assess the risk of a failed scheduling depending on critical requirements of the processes. This paper presents RealNet, a neural network architecture that will generate schedules from timing requirements of a real-time system. The RealNet simulator will provide the designer, after iterating and averaging over some trials, an estimation of the probability that the system will not meet the deadlines. Moreover, the knowledge of the critical processes in these schedules will allow the designer to decide whether changes in the implementation are required. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
ATHLETES, FATIGUE (Physiology), PHYSICAL education, QUESTIONNAIRES, and SPORTS medicine
Abstract: Objective. – The group of consensus of the French Society of Sport Medicine prepared a questionnaire in order to detect early stage of overtraining. This questionnaire includes 54 items which the subjects have to answer by “yes” or by “not”. A score is then established by summing the “yes”. Taking into account the formulation of the questions, this score will increase with the training load. The aim of our study is to propose a score of overtraining, and also to highlight the importance of some items or groups of items. Methods. – Our population consisted of French sportsmen of both sexes, from different geographical origins, age, sporting practice and level. A multicentric analysis was carried out on the basis of 1984 collected questionnaires. We analysed the evolution of the percentage of subjects, the weight of various parameters (age, overtraining) and the evolution of the frequency of each item as a function of the score. Results. – A score of 20 was proposed as an overtraining state threshold, which has to be confirmed on the basis of correlations with biological indices, in particular with a state of clinically established overtraining. Sixteen items present a linear evolution traducing an increase of tiredness according to the overload. Six items have a logarithmic increase, traducing a kind of “background noise”. The others items (N =32) presenting a non-linear increase are sign of a decompensation phenomenon. Conclusion. – This analysis by item make possible an improve of the questionnaire, by selecting items groups which may give an orientation on the type of tiredness. It also confirms the usefulness of this questionnaire as a tool for the follow-up of the training state of sportsmen, a score equal to or higher than 20 constituting the overtraining threshold. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]
SILAGE, CORN, PENICILLIN, BACTERIA, and PHYSIOLOGICAL effect of patulin
Abstract: The objectives were to investigate the presence of patulin-producing Penicillium sp. in corn silage and high moisture corn as well as adverse effects of patulin on microbial fermentation in continuous culture fermenters. Eighty-three samples of corn silage or high moisture corn were cultured to determine the presence of molds. Penicillium sp. were isolated from 0.82 of samples. Of these Penicillium sp. isolates, 0.03 produced patulin on yeast extract sucrose and potato dextrose agar. The patulin-producing isolates belonged to the P. viridicatum group. The other molds identified were: Mucor sp. (0.45), Aspergillus sp. (0.41), and Fusarium sp. (0.25). Eight single-flow continuous culture fermenters were used to study effects of patulin on fermentation by ruminal microbes. Two 1-l fermenters were supplemented with 0, 10, 20 or 40mg of patulin every 12h for three consecutive days. Increasing patulin reduced neutral detergent and acid detergent fiber digestibility at a decreasing rate (linear, P<0.01; quadratic, P<0.05). True digestion of organic matter and total non-structural carbohydrates decreased linearly (P<0.05) as patulin concentration increased. Crude protein digestion and bacterial N flows decreased linearly (P<0.05). Conversely, there was a linear increase (P<0.05) in ammonia nitrogen with increased patulin. Total, ammonia and non-ammonia N flows were not affected by patulin. Efficiency of microbial protein synthesis was not affected by patulin but there was a linear decreased (P<0.05) in the efficiency of N utilization. Increasing patulin levels caused a linear decrease (P<0.001) of total volatile fatty acid concentration and a quadratic decrease of acetate and propionate molar proportions (P<0.05). Ten and 20mg/l of patulin produced a decrease in acetate proportion and an increase in propionate proportion. Lactate concentration (mmol/l) increase from 0.0 to 216.5mmol/l (linear, P<0.05) with increasing patulin concentration. Penicillium sp. molds are common contaminants of corn silage and high moisture corn and they produce patulin that can adversely affect fermentation by ruminal microbes. Alterations in microbial digestion of dry matter, and production of microbial end products, impact the production and/or health of ruminants. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]
CYTOKINES, GROWTH factors, CHEMICAL reactions, and PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA
Abstract: Src family kinases are involved in transducing growth factor signals for cellular differentiation and proliferation in a variety of cell types. The activity of all Src family kinases (SFKs) is controlled by phosphorylation at their C-terminal 527-tyrosine residue by C-terminal SRC kinase, CSK. There is a paucity of information regarding the role of CSK and/or specific Src family kinases in neuronal differentiation. Pretreatment of PC12 cells with the Src family kinase inhibitor, PP1, blocked NGF-induced activation of SFKs and obliterated neurite outgrowth. To confirm a role for CSK and specific isoforms of SFKs in neuronal differentiation, we overexpressed active and catalytically dead CSK in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line, PC12. CSK overexpression caused a profound inhibition of NGF-induced activation of FYN, YES, RAS, and ERK and inhibited neurite outgrowth, NGF-stimulated integrin-directed migration and blocked the NGF-induced conversion of GDP–RAC to its GTP-bound active state. CSK overexpression markedly augmented the activation state of AKT following NGF stimulation. In contrast, kinase-dead CSK augmented the activation of FYN, RAS, and ERK and increased neurite outgrowth. These data suggest a distinct requirement for CSK in the regulation of NGF/TrkA activation of RAS, RAC, ERK, and AKT via the differential control of SFKs in the orchestration of neuronal differentiation. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]