Science

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • (2006) Hitchins, Megan; Suter, C; Wong, Jenny; Cheong, Kay; Hawkins, Nicholas; Leggett, B; Scott, R; Spigelman, Allan; Tomlinson, Ian; Martin, David; Ward, Robyn
    Journal Article

  • (2008) Gattellari, Melina; Worthington, John; Zwar, N; Middleton, Susan
    Journal Article
    Background and Purpose: Anticoagulation reduces the risk of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation yet remains underused. We explored barriers to the use of anticoagulants among Australian family physicians. Methods: The authors conducted a representative, national survey. Results: Of the 596 (64.4%) eligible family physicians who participated, 15.8% reported having a patient with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience an intracranial hemorrhage with anticoagulation and 45.8% had a patient with known nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience a stroke without anticoagulation. When presented with a patient at `very high risk` of stroke, only 45.6% of family physicians selected warfarin in the presence of a minor falls risk and 17.1% would anticoagulate if the patient had a treated peptic ulcer. Family physicians with less decisional conflict and longer-standing practices were more likely to endorse anticoagulation. Conclusion: Strategies to optimize the management of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation should address psychological barriers to using anticoagulation.

  • (2006) Gattellari, Melina; Zwar, N; Worthington, John; Middleton, Susan
    Journal Article
    Background and Purpose: Anticoagulation reduces the risk of stroke in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation yet remains underused. We explored barriers to the use of anticoagulants among Australian family physicians. Methods: The authors conducted a representative, national survey. Results: Of the 596 (64.4%) eligible family physicians who participated, 15.8% reported having a patient with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience an intracranial hemorrhage with anticoagulation and 45.8% had a patient with known nonvalvular atrial fibrillation experience a stroke without anticoagulation. When presented with a patient at "very high risk" of stroke, only 45.6% of family physicians selected warfarin in the presence of a minor falls risk and 17.1% would anticoagulate if the patient had a treated peptic ulcer. Family physicians with less decisional conflict and longer-standing practices were more likely to endorse anticoagulation. Conclusion: Strategies to optimize the management of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation should address psychological barriers to using anticoagulation.

  • (2008) Wakefield, Claire; Meiser, Bettina; Homewood, J; Peate, Michelle; Taylor, Adrian; Lobb, Elizabeth; Kirk, J; Young, Mark; Williams, Robyn; Dudding, T; Tucker, Katherine
    Journal Article
    Purpose To measure the effectiveness of a tailored decision aid (DA) designed to help women make informed decisions about genetic testing for breast/ovarian cancer risk. Methods A total of 145 women were randomized to receive the DA or a control pamphlet at the end of their first genetic counseling consultation. Of these, 120 (82.8%) completed two questionnaires, 1 week and 6 months post-consultation. Results While the DA had no effect on informed choice, post-decisional regret or actual genetic testing decision, the trial showed that women who received the DA had higher knowledge levels and felt more informed about genetic testing than women who received the control pamphlet (chi(2)(2) = 6.82; P = 0.033; chi(2)(1) = 4.86; P = 0.028 respectively). The DA also helped women who did not have blood drawn at their first consultation to clarify their values with regards to genetic testing (chi(2)(1) = 5.27; P = 0.022). Women who received the DA were less likely to share the information with other family members than women in the control condition (chi(2)(1) = 8.78; P = 0.003). Conclusions Decision aids are an effective decision-support strategy for women considering genetic testing for breast/ovarian cancer risk, and are most effective before the patient has made a decision, which is generally at the point of having blood drawn.

  • (2008) Meiser, Bettina; Kasparian, Nadine; Mitchell, Penny; Strong, Kathryn; Simpson, John; Tabassum, Laila; Mireskandari, Shab; Schofield, Peter
    Journal Article
    Objectives: This study assesses interest in genetic testing for gene variations associated with bipolar disorder and associated information needs. Methods: Two hundred individuals (95 unaffected and 105 affected with either bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder-manic type, or recurrent major depression) from families with multiple cases of bipolar disorder were assessed, using mailed, self-administered questionnaires. Results: The percentage of participants reporting interest in genetic testing was associated with the degree of certainty with which any test would indicate the development of bipolar disorder. Interest in genetic testing, given a 25% lifetime risk scenario, was lowest (with 77% of participants indicating interest), and highest for the 100% lifetime risk scenario (92%). Eighty percent of participants indicated interest in genetic testing of their own children; of these 30% reported wanting their children tested at birth, and 33% in early childhood. Forty-one percent of participants reported that they would be interested in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and 54% in prenatal testing. Limitations: The possibility of ascertainment bias cannot be ruled out. Interest in hypothetical genetic testing for bipolar disorder may not necessarily translate into actual utilization. Conclusions: These results indicate that uptake of genetic testing for genotyping for low-risk alleles related to bipolar disorder is likely to be lower than for testing for high-penetrance gene mutations that follow Mendelian inheritance. The discrepancy between the desired age of testing children and the accepted current practice may be a source of distress and conflict for parents and health professionals alike.

  • (2008) Shen, Yansong; Guo, Baoyu; Yu, Aibing; Maldonado, Daniel; Austin, Patricia; Zulli, Paul
    Journal Article
    Pulverized coal injection technology is widely used in blast furnace ironmaking due to economic, operational and environmental benefits. High burnout within the tuyere and raceway is required for high coal injection rate operation. In order to analyze the flow and combustion in the tuyere and raceway more accurately and reliably, a three-dimensional model of coal combustion is developed. This model is validated against the measurements from two pilot scale test rigs in terms of gas species composition and coal burnout. The gas-solid flow and coal combustion are simulated and analysed. The results indicate that compared to our previous model, the present model is able to provide more detailed gas species distributions and better describe the evolutions of coal particles. It is more sensitive to various parameters and hence more robust in examining various blast furnace operations.

  • (2006) Lee, Cathryn; Gaeta, Bruno; Malming, H; Bain, Michael; Sewell, William; Collins, Andrew
    Journal Article
    We have used a bioinformatics approach to evaluate the completeness and functionality of the reported human immunoglobulin heavy-chain IGHD gene repertoire. Using the hidden Markov-model-based iHMMune-align program, 1,080 relatively unmutated heavy-chain sequences were aligned against the reported repertoire. These alignments were compared with alignments to 1,639 more highly mutated sequences. Comparisons of the frequencies of gene utilization in the two databases, and analysis of features of aligned IGHD gene segments, including their length, the frequency with which they appear to mutate, and the frequency with which specific mutations were seen, were used to determine the reliability of alignments to the less commonly seen IGHD genes. Analysis demonstrates that IGHD4-23 and IGHD5-24, which have been reported to be open reading frames of uncertain functionality, are represented in the expressed gene repertoire; however, the functionality of IGHD6-25 must be questioned. Sequence similarities make the unequivocal identification of members of the IGHD1 gene family problematic, although all genes except IGHD1-14*01 appear to be functional. On the other hand, reported allelic variants of IGHD2-2 and of the IGHD3 gene family appear to be nonfunctional, very rare, or nonexistent. Analysis also suggests that the reported repertoire is relatively complete, although one new putative polymorphism (IGHD3-10*p03) was identified. This study therefore confirms a surprising lack of diversity in the available IGHD gene repertoire, and restriction of the germline sequence databases to the functional set described here will substantially improve the accuracy of IGHD gene alignments and therefore the accuracy of analysis of the V-D-J junction.

  • (2008) Out, R; Jessup, Wendy; Le Goff, W; Hoekstra, M; Gelissen, Ingrid; Zhao, Yong; Kritharides, Leonard; Chimini, G; Kuiper, J; Chapman, Matthew; Huby, T; Van Berkel, T; Van Eck, M
    Journal Article
    The concept that macrophages can become foam cells as a result of a disturbed balance between the uptake of cholesterol from lipoproteins and cholesterol efflux is generally accepted. ABCA1 and ABCG1 are two cholesterol transporters that may act sequentially to remove cellular cholesterol, but currently their combined role in vivo is unknown. We report here that targeted disruption of both ABCA1 and ABCG1 in mice, despite severe plasma hypocholesterolemia, leads to massive lipid accumulation and foam cell formation of tissue macrophages. A complete ablation of cellular cholesterol efflux in vitro is observed, whereas in vivo macrophage-specific reverse cholesterol transport to the feces is markedly decreased. Despite the massive foam cell formation of tissue macrophages, no lipid accumulation was observed in the vascular wall, even in mice of 1 year old, indicating that the double knockout mice, possibly because of their hypocholesterolemia, lack the trigger to attract macrophages to the vessel wall. In conclusion, even under hypocholesterolemic conditions macrophages can be converted into foam cells, and ABCA1 and ABCG1 play an essential role in the prevention of foam cell formation.

  • (2008) Out, R; Jessup, Wendy; Le Goff, W; Hoekstra, M; Gelissen, Ingrid; Zhao, Yong; Kritharides, Leonard; Chimini, G; Kuiper, J; Chapman, Matthew; Huby, T; Van Berkel, T; Van Eck, M
    Journal Article

  • (2008) Power, M; Marlon, J; Ortiz, N; Bartlein, P; Harrison, Simon; Mayle, F; Ballouche, A; Bradshaw, R; Carcaillet, C; Cordova, C; Mooney, Scott; Moreno, P; Prentice, I; Thonicke, K; Tinner, W; Whitlock, C; Zhang, Yanling; Zhao, Yong; Ali, Amna; Anderson, Richard; Beer, R; Behling, H; Briles, C; Brown, Katherine; Brunelle, A; Bush, M; Camill, P; Chu, G; Clark, J; Colombaroli, D; Connor, Stuart; Daniau, A; Daniels, M; Dodson, John; Doughty, E; Edwards, Meredith; Finsinger, W; Foster, Douglas; Frechette, J; Gaillard, M; Gavin, D; Gobet, E; Haberle, Simon; Hallett, D; Higuera, P; Hope, G; Horn, S; Inoue, J; Kaltenrieder, P; Kennedy, Liz; Kong, Z; Larsen, C; Long, C; Lynch, Jodi; Lynch, E; McGlone, M; Meeks, S; Mensing, S; Meyer, G; Minckley, T; Mohr, J; Nelson, D; New, J; Newnham, R; Noti, R; Oswald, W; Pierce, J; Richard, P; Rowe, C; Goni, M; Shuman, B; Takahara, H; Toney, J; Turney, C; Urrego-Sanchez, D; Umbanhowar, C; Vandergoes, M; Vanniere, B; Vescovi, E
    Journal Article
    Fire activity has varied globally and continuously since the last glacial maximum (LGM) in response to long-term changes in global climate and shorter-term regional changes in climate, vegetation, and human land use. We have synthesized sedimentary charcoal records of biomass burning since the LGM and present global maps showing changes in fire activity for time slices during the past 21,000 years (as differences in charcoal accumulation values compared to pre-industrial). There is strong broad-scale coherence in fire activity after the LGM, but spatial heterogeneity in the signals increases thereafter. In North America, Europe and southern South America, charcoal records indicate less-than-present fire activity during the deglacial period, from 21,000 to ∼11,000 cal yr BP. In contrast, the tropical latitudes of South America and Africa show greater-than-present fire activity from ∼19,000 to ∼17,000 cal yr BP and most sites from Indochina and Australia show greater-than-present fire activity from 16,000 to ∼13,000 cal yr BP. Many sites indicate greater-than-present or near-present activity during the Holocene with the exception of eastern North America and eastern Asia from 8,000 to ∼3,000 cal yr BP, Indonesia and Australia from 11,000 to 4,000 cal yr BP, and southern South America from 6,000 to 3,000 cal yr BP where fire activity was less than present. Regional coherence in the patterns of change in fire activity was evident throughout the post-glacial period. These complex patterns can largely be explained in terms of large-scale climate controls modulated by local changes in vegetation and fuel load.