Bangalore, India
Bangalore, India

A niche in classical architecture is an exedra or an apse that has been reduced in size, retaining the half-dome heading usual for an apse. Nero's Domus Aurea was the first semi-private dwelling that possessed rooms that were given richly varied floor plans, shaped with niches and exedras; sheathed in dazzling polished white marble, such curved surfaces concentrated or dispersed the daylight.The word derives from the Latin nidus or nest, via the French niche. The Italian nicchio for a sea-shell may also be involved, as the traditional decoration for the top of a niche is a scallop shell, as in the illustration, hence also the alternative term of "conch" for a semi-dome, usually reserved for larger exedra.In Gothic architecture, a niche may be set within a tabernacle framing, like a richly-decorated miniature house , such as might serve for a reliquary. The backings for the altars in churches can be embedded with niches for statues. Though a niche in either Classical or Gothic contexts may be empty and merely provide some articulation and variety to a section of wall, the cult origins of the niche suggested that it be filled with a statue. One of the earliest buildings which uses external niches containing statues is the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence, built between 1380-1404. The Uffizi Palace in Florence modified the concept by setting the niche within the wall so it did not protrude. The Uffizi has two dozen or so such niches containing statues of great historical figures. In England the Uffizi style niches were adopted at Montacute House , where there are 9 exterior niches containing statues of the Nine Worthies. In Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna the trompe-l'oeil niche frames her as with the canopy of estate that was positioned over a personage of importance in the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Europe. At the same time, the Madonna is represented as an iconic sculpture who has "come alive" with miraculous immediacy.Expanding from its primary sense as an architectural recess, a niche can be applied to a rocky hollow, crack, crevice, or foothold. The sense of a niche as a clearly defined narrow space led to its use describing the relational position of an organism's species, its ecological niche. Wikipedia.


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The forecasted increase in the number of older people for this century will be accompanied by an increase of those with disabilities. Disability is usually preceded by a condition named frailty that encompasses changes associated with ageing, life styles and chronic diseases. To detect and intervene on it is of outstanding importance to prevent disability, as recovery from disability is unlikely. Recent documents stress the necessity of testing the clinical utility (in terms of risk prediction, diagnosis validity and prognostic significance) of the existing definition of frailty by using combinations of clinical criteria (current definition) and lab Biomarkers (BMs). We will measure the levels of blood and urine omic-based BMs in old people selected from eight cohorts, which include up to 75,000 participants, using standardized and innovative technology (WP1). This figure will allow us to test the research questions with a high power and validity. Combining these lab BMs with clinical BMs, we will develop predictive, diagnostic and prognostic models (WP2), with its modulation by nutrition and physical activity, in general old population and in old people showing some characteristics that confer a high risk for developing frailty (selected cardiovascular risk factors and diseases) (WP4). After that, a selected set of BMs will be validated prospectively (WP3) and assessed to find the best-fitted models (WP4). These models will guide the development of the ready-to-use kits to be implemented in the clinical settings. These kits will be at the center of dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5, WP6). A well-balanced consortium distributed over the individual tasks in the respective work packages will carry it out, with a strong participation of SMEs. In summary, FRAILOMIC is original, relevant, pertinent, feasible, overcome the usual research bottlenecks on Biomarkers, and fits perfectly with the topics addressed by the HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-2 call in human subjects


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.2-1;HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2012

The prevalence of diabetes in people 65 years approaches 25% (40% of all patients with diabetes are > 65 years). This number will increase 4-fold in people > 70 years in 2050. Diabetes results in a high personal and social health burden, and a significant public health burden in terms of rising healthcare costs. Diabetes is associated with increased functional decline in older people and may explain up to 20% of their excess risk of disability. Our project focuses on the use of interventions to improve functional status and enhance quality of life. This is justified because there has been a lack of intervention studies in this population and improvements in function and well-being may be of more clinical benefit in older patients than attention to metabolic control alone. The MID-FRAIL STUDY is a Phase IIb open randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-modal intervention (optimizing medical management, resistance-based exercise program and educational/nutritional intervention) in 1,704 frail or pre-frail subjects 70 years with T2D to prevent functional decline and maintain or improve quality of life and its associated costs. This approach is original (both the intervention and outcomes are unique for studies in diabetes), relevant (it concerns 25% of people with diabetes), pertinent and feasible. The project is highly aligned with objectives pursued by two topics of this call: investigator-driven clinical trials in elderly populations (HEALTH 2011 2.2.2-1) and in diabetes complications (HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-1). The study aims to demonstrate a reduction of 20% in that risk, which will mean an annual prevention of around 700,000 incident cases of some disability in old people, with a major impact on global quality of life and financial costs. This is especially true in older women. Three research-intensive SMEs will play a leading role in this project and it also has the support of Diabetes UK, a major patient and family advocacy organisation


Langen M.,NICHE | Bos D.,NICHE | Noordermeer S.D.S.,NICHE | Nederveen H.,NICHE | And 2 more authors.
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Background Repetitive behavior is a core feature of autism and has been linked to differences in striatum. In addition, the brain changes associated with autism appear to vary with age. However, most studies investigating striatal differences in autism are cross-sectional, limiting inferences on development. In this study, we set out to 1) investigate striatal development in autism, using a longitudinal design; and 2) examine the relationship between striatal development and repetitive behavior. Methods We acquired longitudinal structural magnetic resonance imaging scans from 86 individuals (49 children with autism, 37 matched control subjects). Each individual was scanned twice, with a mean scan interval time of 2.4 years. Mean age was 9.9 years at time 1 and 12.3 years at time 2. Striatal structures were traced manually with high reliability. Multivariate analyses of variance were used to investigate differences in brain development between diagnostic groups. To examine the relationship with behavior, correlations between changes in brain volumes and clinical measures were calculated. Results Our results showed an increase in the growth rate of striatal structures for individuals with autism compared with control subjects. The effect was specific to caudate nucleus, where growth rate was doubled. Second, faster striatal growth was correlated with more severe repetitive behavior (insistence on sameness) at the preschool age. Conclusions This longitudinal study of brain development in autism confirms the involvement of striatum in repetitive behavior. Furthermore, it underscores the significance of brain development in autism, as the severity of repetitive behavior was related to striatal growth, rather than volume per se. © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


The contribution of agricultural land use and management practices to soil degradation was compared on land with: more than 20-years of natural grazing (NG), cultivation of horticultural (HC) and field (FC) crops, and undisturbed savanna (US) in South Africa. Tillage with tractors in the FC and HC plots resulted in greater soil compaction compared with NG and US systems. The soil under FC and HC had a greater percentage of micro-aggregates (<0.25mm; 56.2% and 60.4%, respectively) than NG (16.1%) or US (22.7%). The aggregates in FC were the least water stable followed by that of HC, NG and US. Soil water content was significantly higher (p<0.05) in soil from HC (3.46%) than NG (2.13%), US (1.67%) or FC (0.87%). Soil compaction was greater in the profile of the FC, NG and HC than US. Grazing and cultivation significantly reduced soil organic matter and microbial biomass carbon. Both organic and microbial biomass carbon were significantly positively correlated with many soil properties. Overall, the study showed that both animal grazing and cultivation of crops significantly reduced soil physical and biological properties compared with undisturbed land. The results provide evidence that land management practices are an important component of sustainability in this dry savanna ecosystem. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Innovation Voucher | Award Amount: 5.00K | Year: 2015

To research and develop creamy texture within an ice cream, in the absence of dairy.


The present invention provides a mono-component of high-refractive-index LED encapsulant which is made from the materials with following weight ratio: 50 to 80 portions of phenyl vinyl polysiloxane, 25 to 40 portions of cross-linking agent, 0.1 to 0.5 portions of platinum catalyst, 0.01 to 0.1 portions of inhibitor, and 0 to 5 portions of additive. It has some excellent properties of high refractive index, high transmittance, anti-radiation, high and low temperatures resistance and weatherability, the viscosity of the encapsulant is from 1000mPa.s to 7000mPa.s, with 60 days of storage life under room temperature, while 6 months of storage life under temperature from 0C to 4C, the hardness is from 80A to 70D, which is suited to high-power and high-luminous-efficiency LED encapsulation. The raw material is easy to get, and the preparation process is easy to be applied in industrial production because of its convenient operating and control method with mild condition and without pollution.


Patent
Niche | Date: 2011-01-19

A hang-on device mounting structure for securing a hang-on device to a motorcycle or bicycle to avoid interference of the hang-on device with the vehicle rider is disclosed to include one or multiple base panels (1) mounted in a toolbox or luggage-carrier of a motorcycle or bicycle, each base panel (1) having one or a number of positioning units (11), and one of a number of connection devices (2) for securing a hang-on device to the base panel(s), each connection device (2) has a mounting member (21) for fastening to one positioning unit (11) of one base panel (1), a connector (23) connectable to one matching connector of the hang-on device and an extension member (22) connected between the mounting member and the connector.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2016

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to provide patients with a new gastrointestinal therapeutic device for the alleviation of postoperative ileus (POI) and the restoration of gastrointestinal motility. POI is an impairment of gastrointestinal motility that often develops following abdominal surgery and causes significant discomfort and comorbidities to both patients and their families. Existing solutions in the prevention or treatment of POI based on management strategies and pharmaceutical therapies have limited efficacy and are highly anecdotal. There is also no effective way for clinicians to quantitatively monitor the severity and resolution of POI. The project is valuable and timely, and it represents a significant departure from the status quo. The success of this project would not only benefit the patients undergoing abdominal surgery and their families, but also would significantly reduce the health care expenditure in the United States by shortening the hospitalization stay as well as the associated medical resources. The developed technologies can be further served as research tools for various biomedical applications to investigate underlying biological mechanisms and the feasibility study of novel treatment method for different diseases.

The proposed project is to develop and demonstrate a wireless extra-luminal closed-loop gastrointestinal modulation device, capable of simultaneously neuromodulating the gastrointestinal tract and recording gastrointestinal motility wirelessly for alleviating POI, resulting in enhancing gastrointestinal motility. POI costs over US $1.5 billion annually to its healthcare system. Safely shortening this length of stay by one day would produce significant dividends, leading to a market size of more than $700 million annually. The proposed project will address not only the design and optimization of a bioelectronic device, but also the integration and miniaturization of the wireless gastrointestinal therapeutic device. Animal study is to be conducted to validate the efficacy of the device in modulating and wirelessly recording of gastrointestinal motility, and its safety and reliability. If successful, the outcome will lead to a new bioelectronics medicine that advances the treatment of POI, and can be potentially expanded to other medical applications.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2016

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to provide patients with a new gastrointestinal therapeutic device for the alleviation of postoperative ileus (POI) and the restoration of gastrointestinal motility. POI is an impairment of gastrointestinal motility that often develops following abdominal surgery and causes significant discomfort and comorbidities to both patients and their families. Existing solutions in the prevention or treatment of POI based on management strategies and pharmaceutical therapies have limited efficacy and are highly anecdotal. There is also no effective way for clinicians to quantitatively monitor the severity and resolution of POI. The project is valuable and timely, and it represents a significant departure from the status quo. The success of this project would not only benefit the patients undergoing abdominal surgery and their families, but also would significantly reduce the health care expenditure in the United States by shortening the hospitalization stay as well as the associated medical resources. The developed technologies can be further served as research tools for various biomedical applications to investigate underlying biological mechanisms and the feasibility study of novel treatment method for different diseases. The proposed project is to develop and demonstrate a wireless extra-luminal closed-loop gastrointestinal modulation device, capable of simultaneously neuromodulating the gastrointestinal tract and recording gastrointestinal motility wirelessly for alleviating POI, resulting in enhancing gastrointestinal motility. POI costs over US $1.5 billion annually to its healthcare system. Safely shortening this length of stay by one day would produce significant dividends, leading to a market size of more than $700 million annually. The proposed project will address not only the design and optimization of a bioelectronic device, but also the integration and miniaturization of the wireless gastrointestinal therapeutic device. Animal study is to be conducted to validate the efficacy of the device in modulating and wirelessly recording of gastrointestinal motility, and its safety and reliability. If successful, the outcome will lead to a new bioelectronics medicine that advances the treatment of POI, and can be potentially expanded to other medical applications.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

Cornish holiday company Niche Retreats has this week released a list of special offers and last-minute deals on self catering accommodation in Cornwall over the Christmas holidays. The Porthleven based lettings agency has rounded up a selection of offers with up to 20% off its last remaining cottages and holiday homes available for the festive period. Christmas is a particularly special time of year to visit Cornwall, when visitors can enjoy quiet beaches, wild scenery and a festive, community spirit in towns and villages along the coast. Niche Retreats hopes the special offers and last-minute deals on Christmas cottages and holiday homes in Cornwall will inspire more people to visit at this time of year. Matt Osborne from Niche Retreats said: “A lot of our accommodation is already booked up for Christmas by people who return year-on year. But we hope the last remaining holiday homes will be taken by newcomers to Cornwall at Christmas so they can experience the county’s magical beauty and festive spirit at this time of year.” The list of special offers includes Kennack Heights – a stunning penthouse apartment with breathtaking sea and countryside views in the village of Kuggar on the Lizard peninsula. This smart, modern apartment sleeps up to 4 people and is available for £1095 (reduced from £1250) for one week from 20-27th December. Also available is Anchor Cottage, right on the sea front in the pretty fishing village of Porthleven. This traditional, stone cottage sleeps 4 people and enjoys panoramic views of the coast as well as high spec furnishings and facilities. This property is now available for £940 (was £1175) for Christmas week from 21-28th December. A little further up the south coast of Cornwall is The Boat House, which is on offer for £880 (down from £1100) for Christmas week from 20-27th December. This stunning cottage is superbly set right on the beach at Portholland, surrounded by the Caerhays Estate. The Boat House, which sleeps 4 people, makes a great location and comfortable base for a Christmas getaway. Matt Osborne Commented: “These holiday homes and the others on our list of Christmas offers are some of the finest places to stay in Cornwall. All are located on or very close to the coast, making them perfect for bracing walks or simply soaking up the sea views.” For more information, please visit the special offers page at Niche Retreats: http://www.nicheretreats.co.uk/special-breaks-and-offers/ For more information, please visit http://www.nicheretreats.co.uk/

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