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Unterrainer A.F.,Paracelsus Medical University | Uebleis F.X.,Clinical Data | Grosb F.A.,Clinical Data | Werner G.G.,Clinical Data | And 2 more authors.
Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology | Year: 2012

Background: Long term use of opioids causes cognitive decline. Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) applied preincisionally and postoperatively reduces postoperative opioid requirement and provides sufficient analgesia after major spinal surgery. Aim of this study was to find out the impact of TENS compared to opioids, prescribed for postoperative analgesia on early postoperative cognitive function. Methods: This study was prospective and randomised-controlled. Patients and observers were blinded to the study design. Forty-one patients of both sexes planned for lumbar interbody fusion were admitted and divided randomly into 2 groups. 35 Patients finished the study. Group A received TENS preincisionally and postoperatively, group B received piritramide intravenously (IV) by patient-controlled analgesia pump. The adjuvant analgesic therapy diclofenac 75 mg IV and the rescue medication paracetamol 1g IV was the same for all patients. Pain intensity was assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). A battery of objective, standardized psychological tests was administered in the same order the day before surgery and 24 to 30 hours postoperatively. Results: The two groups were compared by pairs. Pre- and postoperative attention and memory differed significantly in both groups (p <0,05). The postoperative fatigue was lower in group A (p <0,05). Neither age, sex, body mass index, duration of operation, the need of rescue medication nor the incidents of hypotensive phases showed any significant association with postoperative cognitive decline. Source

He also wanted to improve monitoring methods used by researchers to evaluate Maine's bat populations in order to increase efforts to conserve them. And he wanted to do so by involving citizens. After attending a conference in Portland, Maine, Blomberg created a pilot citizen science-based bat-monitoring project, named BatME. The goal was to test the feasibility of using handheld detectors to monitor bat populations in Maine. He proposed the project to officials at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who immediately showed interest. Blomberg then teamed up with Maine Audubon, an organization that works to conserve the state's wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages through education, conservation and action, who already had volunteers working on a variety of projects. During two months in summer 2015, 20 volunteers collected more than 4,000 detections of bats with hand-held bat detecting units produced by Wildlife Acoustics. "The project provides an interface that gives volunteers a uniquely interactive experience with bats while collecting data," said Blomberg. The new equipment—purchased with funding from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund—included an acoustic microphone that attaches to an iPad and simultaneously records bat echolocation calls and identifies the species of bat. The application quickly translates the call into sounds the human ear can interpret (bats use ultrasonic sound to navigate.) "It struck me that with a lot of other wildlife, like birds in particular, we can enlist the help of nonscientists for monitoring because they (birds) are very visible and you can hear them. There is this interactive component that people get excited about, whereas with bats, which fly at night, we might not be able to hear or see them unless you are really skilled at that," says Blomberg. "So bats really lacked in that interactive mechanism for people to get excited about. Now we have a piece of equipment that would make that possible. When I saw the hand-held monitoring devices I thought, 'This could be a great tool for a citizen-scientist project.'" On Oct. 25, Blomberg gave a presentation titled, "Monitoring Bat Populations in Maine: New Strategies for Citizen-Science Data Collection," which discussed the innovative project aimed at identifying bats in Maine to increase understanding of the mammals that's populations are plummeting rapidly. The discussion was collaboratively sponsored by the Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch and the Orono Bog Boardwalk. Maine is home to eight species of bats, three of which are proposed for state listing as threatened or endangered. The eastern small-footed bat is listed in Maine as threatened, the little brown bat and the northern long-eared bat are listed as endangered in Maine and threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The declines in bat species have been attributed to white-nose syndrome, a disease caused by the cold-loving fungal pathogen Geomyces destructans, which awakens cave-dwelling bats from hibernation. The fungus accumulates on the bats' muzzles and weakens the delicate membranes of their already paper-thin wings. Researchers believe the fungus irritates the animal, causing it to come out of hibernation. Waking in the middle of hibernation leaves the bat extremely vulnerable—resulting in wasted precious metabolic energy and body fat, both which are vital during the coldest months of winter. The bats are unable to raise their body temperatures high enough, resulting in death. The disease was first documented in upstate New York in 2006, when residents began to notice bats flying far from their caves, in the dead of winter, during the day—all extremely uncharacteristic behaviors. When biologists found thousands of dead bats in a cave near Albany covered in a fuzzy-looking, white dust, their concerns deepened. The disease rapidly spread throughout the Northeast, leaving in its wake millions of dead bats. It has resulted in unprecedented wide-range declines in populations of cave-hibernating bats across the country, with some species experiencing a 90-percent population decline the last five years. It wasn't long before the fungus knocked on Maine's door, with the first outbreak identified in Oxford County in 2011. Next year, Blomberg hopes to allow volunteers to check out equipment from UMaine or the Maine Audubon—based out of Falmouth—to expand the range of monitoring and data collection. He also plans to further standardize the sampling by asking volunteers to return to the same locations multiple nights in a row, which would help to detect bats that were missed the first night of sampling. This is important for species of greater concern, such as the little brown or the northern long-eared bat, says Blomberg. "There are not that many of them out there anymore, so the chances that a volunteer would go out on a night and detect one is very slim," said Blomberg. "Sampling multiple nights increases the probability." Blomberg pointed the volunteers toward areas that were common "bat-y" places—open areas, wetlands and places where there are lots of insects. Then volunteers wandered around until they heard the exciting beep of the bat detector. "We had volunteers go all over. Some took the detectors in their boats to the middle of lakes. Some were just walking around in residential neighborhoods. Some went to quarries or wetlands. They really surveyed a variety of places." "Every person that used the detector, loved it," he says. "I mean, it's fun to walk around in the dark and all of the sudden all these lights start flashing and it tells you what species of bat you have detected." The utility of this method, says Blomberg, is that it allows researchers to collect data in places they wouldn't if they were using traditional methods for bat monitoring. The only true flying mammal, bats are nocturnal and stalk their prey at night, swooping and diving after moths, beetles, mosquitoes and flies. Bats locate prey by refracting sound off their surroundings, a system called echolocation. Dolphins also use this strategy. A lot of the bugs that bats eat are insects we don't necessarily want around, says Blomberg, such as common crop pests and disease-spreading mosquitoes. In a study published in spring 2011 in Science, researchers estimated that bats annually provide more than $3.7 billion in pest-control services to the agricultural system in the United States. Some bat species also aid in seed dispersal and the pollination of flowers. "Even in Maine, that study is estimating that by a county-to-county basis, bats are providing millions of dollars of services to us in a given year," says Blomberg. "So when you think about declines in bat populations, this means fewer bats and fewer insects being eaten by the bats."

News Article
Site: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/

The Payroll Office at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has been recognized with the Laboratory's Excellence in Mission Support Award. This award recognizes significant contributions of the NRL support community and is the highest NRL award bestowed for the laboratory's mission support contributions. The Payroll Office received the award at a ceremony held at NRL on July 15th. The Payroll Office is recognized for "their exemplary mission support to the NRL community in the implementation of self-timekeeping for the entire NRL workforce. The NRL Payroll Office quickly and accurately created and mapped accounts for over 2,400 NRL employees to ensure that all time and attendance data could be properly entered and certified. The Payroll Office created flexible solutions to address each division's unique implementation requirements and provided detailed training to all NRL employees. While implementing this extensive new process, the Payroll Office also continued to provide exemplary customer service for daily payroll issues." Prior to the new self-timekeeping system, NRL primarily used paper timesheets to record critical time and attendance data, an inefficient process that required multiple employees to review, sign and process paper timesheets, and then a timekeeper to enter time and attendance data into the Standard Labor Data Collection and Distribution Application (SLDCADA). Depending on the size of the division, the biweekly timesheet process took between three and five business days and numerous employees to complete. With the new self-timekeeping, employees can directly enter time and attendance data into SLDCADA, and supervisors can electronically certify that data. This standardizes the timekeeping process across the lab, electronically collects time and attendance data to allow for improved data analysis and review, improves efficiency by eliminating a lengthy paper timesheet process in the divisions, reduces data entry errors by timekeepers, removes the need to maintain extensive paper files of timesheets, and fulfills audit readiness program requirements. The audit readiness program requires a standard timekeeping process across the lab, clear delineation of certifying officials and their authority to certify, and retention of all data related to time and attendance indefinitely. NRL is now able to meet these requirements because of the group's diligent work. The Payroll Office was able to implement this large-scale initiative in less than one year, from November 2013 to August 2014. The Payroll Office employees recognized with this award are Linsey Bowie, head of Financial Services Section; Jean Jones, Accountant; Tonya Napier, Lead Financial Technician; Mia Allen-Hall, Financial Technician; and Brenda Datcher, Financial Technician. Ms. Bowie had the daunting task of serving as the leader of the implementation; setting up the implementation schedule, developing implementation options to support division needs, providing management information briefs with each division's administrative and management staff, and then providing the detailed training to all employees and certifiers. Ms. Jones provided expertise on the systems administration in setting up the supervisory assignment structures, gathering required Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) information for all users and granting SLDCADA access and monitoring/auditing data entry and performance as each division transitioned to self-timekeeping. Ms. Napier covered most of the day-to-day business operations, lending her assistance to self-timekeeping as needed. She resolved common payroll issues not related to the implementation and researched pay discrepancies. Ms. Allen-Hall assisted Ms. Bowie in presenting all the training briefs. She also set up the employees in SLDCADA, granting access and ensuring employees were properly mapped. Ms. Datcher, along with Ms. Napier, covered the day-to-day payroll operations, assisting the timekeepers with their many functions. She researched questions and provided advice to the Administrative Officers in regards to labor issues as related to employee leave and earnings. About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitenvironment-rss.xml

The Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) at MIT held its annual poster session on May 4 in the Walker Memorial Building. The session highlighted the work of the environmental health research communities of MIT and some peer institutions. Approximately 50 posters were presented from the science and engineering laboratories affiliated with CEHS. The CEHS has an overall mission to study the biological effects of exposure to environmental agents in order to understand and predict how such exposures affect human health. Moreover, by uncovering the chemical, biochemical, and genetic bases for environmental disease, sometimes researchers are able to leverage that understanding to delay or even prevent the development of disease in human populations. To that end, the center brings together 39 MIT faculty members from a total of nine MIT departments in both the School of Science and the School of Engineering, plus one Harvard University faculty member from the Harvard School of Public Health. This year’s CEHS cash prizes were awarded in two categories, graduate students and postdocs. For each category, the prize for first-place was $1,000; second-place was $500, and third-place was $200 plus CEHS memorabilia. The cash prizes were made possible by the Myriam Marcelle Znaty Research Fund, which was established over 30 years ago to support the research of young scientists at MIT. Graduate students, postdocs, and research staff presented the results of their research at MIT's Morss Hall. Anthony R. Soltis from Professor Ernest Fraenkel’s lab won first place in the graduate student category. Soltis presented his work on the “Multi-Omic Data Collection and Integrative Modeling of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity Reveals Features of Hepatic Insulin Resistance.” In second place was Joseph M. Azzarelli and Rong Zhu from Professor Timothy Swager’s lab, who presented their work on “Wireless Hazard Badges for Organophosphate Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors.” Finally, in third place was Chen Gu, from Professor Peter Dedon’s lab, presenting his work on “Phosphorylation of Human TRM9L Modulates its Functions in Oxidative Stress Management and Tumor Growth Suppression.” In the postdoc category, first place went to Collin Edington and Xin Wang from professors Linda Griffith and Steven R. Tannenbaum labs (respectively), presenting on “Construction and Evaluation of the In Vitro Central Nervous System Models.” Second place went to Renan Escalante-Chong, from Professor Ernest Fraenkel's lab, who presented his work on “Integrative Approaches for Cell Signature Generation in ALS Patients at NeuroLINCS.” And Nikolaos Tsamandouras, from Professor Linda Griffith’s lab, took third place after presenting his work on “Assessment of Population Variability in Hepatic Drug Metabolism Using a Perfused 3-D human Liver Bioreactor Along with Modeling and Simulation Techniques.”

Benard A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Benard A.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Benard A.,Bordeaux University Hospital Center | Mercie P.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 76 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Bacterial pneumonia is still a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected patients in the era of combination Antiretroviral Therapy. The benefit of tobacco withdrawal on the risk of bacterial pneumonia has not been quantified in such populations, exposed to other important risk factors such as HIV-related immunodeficiency. Our objective was to estimate the effect of tobacco smoking withdrawal on the risk of bacterial pneumonia among HIV-infected individuals. Methodology/Principal Findings: Patients of the ANRS CO3 Aquitaine Cohort with ≥ two visits during 2000-2007 and without bacterial pneumonia at the first visit were included. Former smokers were patients who stopped smoking since ≥ one year. We used Cox proportional hazards models adjusted on CD4+ lymphocytes (CD4), gender, age, HIV transmission category, antiretroviral therapy, cotrimoxazole prophylaxis, statin treatment, viral load and previous AIDS diagnosis. 135 cases of bacterial pneumonia were reported in 3336 patients, yielding an incidence of 12 % patient-years. The adjusted hazard of bacterial pneumonia was lower in former smokers (Hazard Ratio (HR): 0.48; P = 0.02) and never smokers (HR: 0.50; P = 0.01) compared to current smokers. It was higher in patients with <200 CD4 cells/μL and in those with 200 to 349 CD4 cells/μL (HR: 2.98 and 1.98, respectively; both P<0.01), but not in those with 350 to 499 CD4 cells/mL (HR: 0.93; P = 0.79), compared to those with ≥500 CD4 cells/μL. The interaction between CD4 cell count and tobacco smoking status was not statistically significant. Conclusions/Significance: Smoking cessation dramatically reduces the risk of bacterial pneumonia, whatever the level of immunodeficiency. Smoking cessation interventions should become a key element of the clinical management of HIV-infected individuals. © 2010 Bénard et al. Source

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