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Schraagen J.M.,Applied Scientific Research
British Journal of Surgery | Year: 2012

Background: The application of digital games for training medical professionals is on the rise. So-called 'serious' games form training tools that provide a challenging simulated environment, ideal for future surgical training. Ultimately, serious games are directed at reducing medical error and subsequent healthcare costs. The aim was to review current serious games for training medical professionals and to evaluate the validity testing of such games. Methods: PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, PsychInfo and CINAHL were searched using predefined inclusion criteria for available studies up to April 2012. The primary endpoint was validation according to current criteria. Results: A total of 25 articles were identified, describing a total of 30 serious games. The games were divided into two categories: those developed for specific educational purposes (17) and commercial games also useful for developing skills relevant to medical personnel (13). Pooling of data was not performed owing to the heterogeneity of study designs and serious games. Six serious games were identified that had a process of validation. Of these six, three games were developed for team training in critical care and triage, and three were commercially available games applied to train laparoscopic psychomotor skills. None of the serious games had completed a full validation process for the purpose of use. Conclusion: Blended and interactive learning by means of serious games may be applied to train both technical and non-technical skills relevant to the surgical field. Games developed or used for this purpose need validation before integration into surgical teaching curricula. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

New research from the International Council on Clean Transportation has revealed that the average discrepancy between official vehicle fuel consumption figures and actual vehicle fuel use in the European Union has risen to 42%. The new findings — which are the result of ongoing research on the subject + real-world vehicle carbon dioxide emissions — mean that this gap between official reality and actual reality (with regard to vehicle emissions in the European Union) has more than quadrupled over just the last 15 years. This 42% increase in bullshit (for lack of better way to put it) equates to roughly €450 in “extra” fuel costs a year for the average vehicle owner in the European Union. That means that if official fuel economy figures were accurate, then you would be spending around €450 less on fuel a year than you do (more or less, depending on how much you drive and what type of vehicle you use). Importantly, this also means that carbon dioxide emissions are much higher than official fuel consumption figures imply. To word that the way that the press release on the matter does: “As a result, less than half of the on-paper reductions in CO2 emissions since 2001 have been realized in practice.” The new research is based on systematic statistical analysis of data drawn from 13 different sources, including: “the user websites (Germany), (United Kingdom) and (France), the leasing car service providers Travelcard (Netherlands), LeasePlan (Germany), Allstar (United Kingdom) and Cleaner Car Contracts (Netherlands), the car and consumer magazines AUTO BILD (Germany), auto motor sport (Germany and Sweden), WhatCar? (United Kingdom), (Spain) and the car club TCS (Switzerland).” In other words, the evidence was quite diverse and robust. “We analyzed data for approximately 1 million vehicles from 7 European countries, and all data sources confirm that the gap between sales-brochure figures and the real world has reached another all time high,” stated Uwe Tietge, a researcher at ICCT Europe and lead author of the study. “When we published our first study in 2013, the gap had widened over 10 years from roughly 10% to around 25%. Now it has increased to 40% for private cars, and 45% for company cars.” Very importantly, around “three-quarters of the gap between laboratory test results and real-world driving is explained by vehicle manufacturers exploiting loopholes in the current regulation,” according to the Managing Director of ICCT Europe, Dr Peter Mock. These three-quarters relate to: the use of various start-stop and defeat device technologies, to limit the use of energy-intensive features/performance; the use of specially prepared tires; fully charged batteries; etc. While the European Union will be implementing a new vehicle testing cycle beginning in 2017, the new testing cycle — the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) — seems to have been designed with easily exploitable limitations and loopholes built in as well, as noted by Dr Mock. “The WLTP will cut the gap approximately in half but it contains new loopholes that could lead to the performance gap to increase again in the future,” he stated. “Further actions are therefore required, in particular on-road testing of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions under real driving conditions as well as independent surveillance testing of actual vehicles on the road.” The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) prepared the study with help from the Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). It can be found here. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store!   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

News Article | December 2, 2016

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2016) - Based on the results of this month's Operational Evaluation trial of their new Low- Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) aboard one of the Royal Netherlands Navy's M class frigates, Lieutenant-General Rob Verkerk, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, tweeted "Testing with Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) onboard HMNS Van Amstel. Quantum Leap in the field of submarine warfare!" The OPEVAL was conducted over several days in conjunction with a WALRUS class submarine and a NH-90 helicopter, which was fitted with a low frequency, dipping sonar. The trial demonstrated the LFAPS's abilities to mono-statically and bi-statically detect and track a diesel-electric submarine, in challenging environmental conditions, in littoral waters. Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems is pleased to have supported the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) through the development of LFAPS hardware; the LFAPS processing software was developed by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). Ultra Electronics is a group of businesses which manage a portfolio of specialist capabilities, generating highly differentiated solutions and products in the defence and aerospace, security and cyber, transport and energy markets, by applying electronic and software technologies in demanding and critical environments to meet customer needs. TNO provides innovative contributions to the advance of comprehensive security and is a strategic partner of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. The organisation uses acquired knowledge for and together with contractors to develop solutions for military operations, military equipment, command & control, operational decision making, threat protection, training and simulation. TNO collaborates with the defence industry and with small and medium-sized enterprises to develop innovative solutions. DMO ensures that military personnel in the Netherlands armed forces have modern, robust and safe materiel to work with. The DMO is involved in the development, procurement, maintenance and sale of materiel.

News Article | March 9, 2016

The reduction of sulfur in the manufacture of gasoline and diesel generates large amounts of greenhouse gases, so specialists from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) in Mexico created an innovative catalytic material that removes this element, and its production requires only one day, representing an advantage in time and cost. The material consists of a catalyst composed of a transition metal called molybdenum, which removes sulfur in gasoline or diesel during hydrodesulfurization, which is the second stage of the distillation of petroleum, said Dr. Jose Domingo Cuesta Leal from the Center of Applied Scientific Research and Advanced Technology (CICATA). The innovation lies in a one-step synthesis methodology by which it is possible to obtain a catalyst with better qualities than current commercial products. Cuesta Leal explained that a hydrothermal reaction was used for the synthesis of the product. Its effect on a load of gas was evaluated after the amount of sulfur in the sample was measured and a reduction of 80 percent was obtained. Additionaly, in comparison with a commercial material under the same conditions, the one created at CICATA demonstrated better properties. The project can be adapted to any desired conditions, either as a compacted powder or small aggregates called pellets. This is the result of six years of research, time during which Dr. Cuesta Leal earned his master's and doctorate financed by the Mexican Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt). He adds that the sulfur removal benefits the oil refining process, avoiding corrosion and contamination by other catalysts such as platinum. Explore further: One sponge-like material, three different applications

Hendriksen I.J.M.,Applied Scientific Research
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVE:: Evaluation of the effectiveness of a workplace health promotion program on employees’ vitality, health, and work-related outcomes, and exploring the influence of organizational support and the supervisors’ role on these outcomes. METHODS:: The 5-month intervention included activities at management, team, and individual level targeting self-management to perform healthy behaviors: a kick-off session, vitality training sessions, workshops, individual coaching, and intervision. Outcome measures were collected using questionnaires, health checks, and sickness absence data at baseline, after the intervention and at 10 months follow-up. For analysis linear and generalized mixed models were used. RESULTS:: Vitality, work performance, sickness absence, and self-management significantly improved. Good organizational support and involved supervisors were significantly associated with lower sickness absence. CONCLUSIONS:: Including all organizational levels and focusing on increasing self-management provided promising results for improving vitality, health, and work-related outcomes.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially. Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Hendriks H.F.J.,Applied Scientific Research
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society | Year: 2013

In this paper, the nutrigenomics approach is discussed as a research tool to study the physiological effects of nutrition and consequently how nutrition affects health and disease (endpoints). Nutrigenomics is the study of the effects of foods and food constituents on gene expression; the analyses include analysis of mRNA, proteins and metabolites. Nutrigenomics may be useful in dealing with the challenges that nutrition research is facing; by integrating the description of numerous active genes and metabolic pathways stronger evidence and new biomarkers for subtle nutritional effects may be obtained. Also, a new definition of disease and health may be needed. The use of tests challenging homoeostasis is being proposed to help define health. Challenge tests may be able to demonstrate in a better way subtle beneficial effects of nutrition on health. The paper describes some basic concepts relevant to nutrition research as well as some of the possibilities that are offered by nutrigenomics technology. Some of its applications are described. Copyright © The Author 2013.

Applied Scientific Research | Date: 2014-06-02

The present invention relates to an intelligent medication dispensing device that gives a patient access to his/her right daily doses of oral solid medications anywhere at the right time. The device is programmed to alert the patient when the doses due time occurs. The medication dispensing device of the present invention comprises essentially a plurality of cartridges divided into a plurality of compartments, a plurality of cylinders to position the cartridges in the device of the present invention, a medication box, a non-taken medication storage component, a portable component, and a plurality of actuators. The portable component can be taken by the patient to any place in order for such patient to adhere to his/her medication doses. The device of the present invention stores the missed dosages in the non-taken medication storage component, and thus prevents the accumulation of such missed doses with a new dose, which has its due time occurred.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 735.63K | Year: 2012

The objective of this proposal is to develop an efficient user-friendly engineering toolkit consisting of a set of FORTRAN callable routines for desktop solution of variable-coefficient Poisson equations on shared-memory Multi-Core Processors (MCPs). The software design is highly modular, consisting of a flexible user interface linked to a set of hardware-optimized shared-memory Krylov solvers with multigrid and other preconditioners. During Phase I, using a benchmark of interest to the Army, various preconditioner-solver combinations were tested for optimal convergence and solution times, cache-aware data storage formats were examined for scalability, the bottleneck in MCP computing was identified, and the feasibility of a new proposed strategy was demonstrated successfully. For Phase II, the Krylov solvers and preconditioners will be optimized further using a range of information on the underlying MCP hardware. Each software module will be tested rigorously and the integrated system finally validated using applications of interest to the Army. Fast mixed-precision computations, efficient utility of the MCP memory hierarchy and distribution, flexible user interface, and dynamic solver adaptivity characterize the novel contributions of this project to the art of solving variable-coefficient Poisson equations on shared-memory MCPs.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.94K | Year: 2011

The simulation of nearly all physical processes eventually leads to the evaluation of a linear system of equations of the form Ax = b, the vast majority of which involve sparse banded matrices. To this end, while highly optimized parallel algorithms are currently available for the solution of very large system of equations in a distributed computing environment, very little has been done to date on algorithms that run efficiently on multi-core CPUs. As such there are new opportunities to develop fast, cache aware, shared memory algorithms for the solution of sparse linear equations on multi-core CPUs. The objective of this Phase I proposal is to investigate the relative performances of multigrid and Krylov based linear solvers using existing technologies, and to propose strategies for follow on development work during Phase II. Additionally, a fast, cache-aware Krylov solver will be developed for multi-core CPUs as demonstration of feasibility for Phase II.

News Article | February 2, 2016

There’s a slew of methods companies, research institutions, and governments are using to counter the proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). High energy lasers, radio jamming tech, even drone-capturing drones are being tested. But the Dutch National Police is taking a different route. Partnering with raptor training company Guard From Above, the police force is training birds of prey to capture hostile drones. “For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones,” said Guard From Above’s founder and CEO Sjoerd Hoogendoorn. “Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems. This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.” Hoogendoorn co-founded the company with Ben de Keijzer, who acts as the company’s COO. Training birds of prey for over 25 years, de Keijzer said, “Two of the most impressive characteristics of birds of prey are their speed and their power. They use their strength and speed when they hunt: they are the masters of the air. By using our special training method, we can teach them to intercept drones.” The birds are trained at Guard From Above’s location at The Hague Security Delta Campus in The Hague, located in the Netherlands. Regarding whether the drone interception poses any danger to the birds, the company said, “Birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey. Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims’ bites. Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds.” The Dutch National Police has queried the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research to study the impact drone interception might have on the birds’ claws.

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