News Article | April 13, 2017
The team - from the University of Washington in St. Louis (WUSTL), MO - describes the proof-of-concept research in the journal Scientific Reports. For the brain to function, it must operate in a tightly controlled chemical environment that is protected from the more varied fluctuations of the rest of the body. This stable environment is maintained by the blood-brain barrier, which comprises layers of specialized cells in the inner linings of the small blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord. The blood-brain barrier prevents toxins from entering the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, it does the job so well that it also keeps out many drugs, such as those used to kill cancer cells. One way to overcome this is to deliver drugs to the brain using injections. However, such invasive approaches are risky in that they can damage tissue and have little control over the distribution of the drugs from the point of injection, note the study researchers. Thus, in a bid to find an effective and less risky alternative, the WUSTL team decided to explore the potential of using nanoparticles to carry drugs to the brain through the nose. Interest in using nanotechnology - the ability to control matter at the atomic and molecular scale - to develop new diagnostic tools and treatments is growing, note the authors in their study report. A number of new nanomaterials have been used to carry drugs to specific targets in organs and tissues. These appear to maximize drug effectiveness while minimizing side effects. Co-author Barani Raman, associate professor of biomedical engineering, says that the nose offers the shortest - and most likely the easiest - route to the brain. He and his colleagues note that from various studies, gold nanoparticles have emerged as the material of choice for drug delivery. They are relatively easy to synthesize and customize, and they have good biocompatibility. The team developed a new aerosol diffusion method that deposits gold nanoparticles in the upper regions of the nasal cavity. They produced the nanoparticles to a controlled shape, size, and surface charge, and tagged them with fluorescent markers so that they could track them. The researchers tested the effectiveness of the nanoparticle aerosol in locusts because their blood-brain barriers bear similarities to those of humans - especially when going through the nasal route. Prof. Raman explains that in humans, to reach the brain through the nose, the nanoparticles have to travel through the olfactory bulb and then the olfactory cortex, "two relays and you've reached the cortex," he says. "The same is true for invertebrate olfactory circuitry," he adds, "although the latter is a relatively simpler system, with [a] supraesophageal ganglion instead of an olfactory bulb and cortex." The team exposed the locusts' antennae to the aerosol and tracked the progress of the tagged nanoparticles. Within a few minutes, the nanoparticles had traversed the insects' olfactory circuitry, passed through the brain-blood barrier, and suffused the brain tissue. The team showed that the nanoparticles did not affect the insects' brain function. They measured the electrophysiological responses of the locusts' olfactory neurons before and after treatment and found no discernible difference up to several hours afterwards. The researchers say that the next stage of their research will be to load the nanoparticles with different drugs and use ultrasound to target precise doses to reach specific areas of the brain. Such methods could potentially make a big difference to the treatment of brain tumors. Learn how soluble aspirin could be a breakthrough for treating brain tumors.
Gupta L.,WUSTL |
Samaka M.,Qatar University |
Jain R.,WUSTL |
Erbad A.,Qatar University |
And 2 more authors.
2017 IEEE 7th Annual Computing and Communication Workshop and Conference, CCWC 2017 | Year: 2017
Network function virtualization (NFV) over multi-cloud promises network service providers amazing flexibility in service deployment and optimizing cost. Telecommunications applications are, however, sensitive to performance indicators, especially latency, which tend to get degraded by both the virtualization and the multiple cloud requirement for widely distributed coverage. In this work we propose an efficient framework that uses the novel concept of random cloud selection combined with a support vector regression based predictive model for cost optimized latency aware placement (COLAP) of service function chains. Extensive empirical analysis has been carried out with training datasets generated using a queuing-theoretic model. The results show good generalization performance of the predictive algorithm. The proposed framework can place thousands of virtual network functions in less than a minute and has high acceptance ratio. © 2017 IEEE.
Wright P.W.,WUSTL |
Pyakurel A.,Louisiana Tech University |
Vaida F.F.,University of California at San Diego |
Price R.W.,University of California at San Francisco |
And 11 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2016
Objective: Little is known about the extent of cortical and subcortical volumetric alterations that may occur within the first year of HIV infection [primary HIV infection (PHI)]. Design: We used structural MRI in this prospective cross-sectional neuroimaging study to determine the extent of volumetric changes in early HIV infection. Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid, blood, neuropsychological testing, and structural T1 MRI scans were acquired from 18 HIV and 47 PHI age-matched antiretroviral-naïve male participants. Using FreeSurfer 5.1, volumetric measurements were obtained from the caudate, amygdala, corpus callosum, ventricles, putamen, thalamus, cortical white matter, and total gray matter. Regional volumes were compared groupwise and related to biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (viral load, neopterin, and neurofilament light chain), blood (viral load, CD4 +, and CD8 + T-cell count), and neuropsychometric tests (digit-symbol, grooved pegboard, finger-tapping, and timed gait). Results: A trend-level moderate reduction of putamen volume (P = 0.076, adjusted Cohen's d = 0.5 after controlling for age) was observed for PHI compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. Within the PHI group, putamen volume associated with CD4 + cell count (P = 0.03), CD4 + /CD8 + ratio (P = 0.045), infection duration (P = 0.009), and worsening psychomotor performance on the digit-symbol (P = 0.028), finger-tapping (P = 0.039), and timed gait (P = 0.009) tests. Conclusion: Our volumetric results suggest that the putamen is preferentially susceptible to early HIV-associated processes. Examining the natural course of early HIV infection longitudinally will allow for mapping of the trajectory of HIV-associated central nervous system changes, enabling creation of improved interventional strategies to potentially stabilize or reverse these observed structural changes. © Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
Demark-Wahnefried W.,University of Alabama at Birmingham |
Colditz G.A.,Washington University in St. Louis |
Rock C.L.,University of California at San Diego |
Sedjo R.L.,Aurora University |
And 8 more authors.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment | Year: 2015
Obesity is a poor prognostic factor and is negatively related to quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors. Exercise and Nutrition to Enhance Recovery and Good Health for You is the largest weight loss trial completed among cancer survivors. Percent losses in body weight with an intensive group-based intervention versus an attention control were 6.0 versus 1.5 % (p < 0.0001) and 3.7 versus 1.3 % (p < 0.0001) at 12 and 24 months, respectively. ENERGY also was designed to answer the research question: Does weight loss significantly improve vitality and physical function (key components of QOL)? 692 breast cancer survivors (BMI: 25–45 kg/m2) at 4 US sites were randomized to a year-long intensive intervention of 52 group sessions and telephone counseling contacts versus a non-intensive (control) of two in-person counseling sessions. Weight, self-reported QOL, and symptoms were measured semi-annually for two years. Significant decreases in physical function and increases in symptoms were observed among controls from baseline to 6 months, but not in the intervention arm, −3.45 (95 % Confidence Interval [CI] −6.10, −0.79, p = 0.0109) and 0.10 (95 %CI 0.04, 0.16, p = 0.0021), respectively. Improvements in vitality were seen in both arms but trended toward greater improvement in the intervention arm −2.72 (95 % CI −5.45, 0.01, p = 0.0508). These differences diminished over time; however, depressive symptoms increased in the intervention versus control arms and became significant at 24 months, −1.64 (95 % CI −3.13, −0.15, p = 0.0308). Increased QOL has been reported in shorter term diet and exercise trials among cancer survivors. These longer term data suggest that diet and exercise interventions improve some aspects of QOL, but these benefits may diminish over time. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.
PubMed | Washington University in St. Louis, UAB, University of California at Los Angeles, UC and 5 more.
Type: Clinical Trial, Phase III | Journal: Breast cancer research and treatment | Year: 2015
Obesity is a poor prognostic factor and is negatively related to quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors. Exercise and Nutrition to Enhance Recovery and Good Health for You is the largest weight loss trial completed among cancer survivors. Percent losses in body weight with an intensive group-based intervention versus an attention control were 6.0 versus 1.5% (p<0.0001) and 3.7 versus 1.3% (p<0.0001) at 12 and 24 months, respectively. ENERGY also was designed to answer the research question: Does weight loss significantly improve vitality and physical function (key components of QOL)? 692 breast cancer survivors (BMI: 25-45kg/m(2)) at 4 US sites were randomized to a year-long intensive intervention of 52 group sessions and telephone counseling contacts versus a non-intensive (control) of two in-person counseling sessions. Weight, self-reported QOL, and symptoms were measured semi-annually for two years. Significant decreases in physical function and increases in symptoms were observed among controls from baseline to 6 months, but not in the intervention arm, -3.45 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] -6.10, -0.79, p=0.0109) and 0.10 (95%CI 0.04, 0.16, p=0.0021), respectively. Improvements in vitality were seen in both arms but trended toward greater improvement in the intervention arm -2.72 (95% CI -5.45, 0.01, p=0.0508). These differences diminished over time; however, depressive symptoms increased in the intervention versus control arms and became significant at 24 months, -1.64 (95% CI -3.13, -0.15, p=0.0308). Increased QOL has been reported in shorter term diet and exercise trials among cancer survivors. These longer term data suggest that diet and exercise interventions improve some aspects of QOL, but these benefits may diminish over time.
Mehta V.,WUSTL |
Materials Performance | Year: 2012
A study, conducted by the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), was prompted by concerns that health safety programs initiated by water utilities in the United States, which use copper pipes to replace the utility's portion of lead drinking water service pipes, may actually increase the risk of lead exposure for water customers. The research shows that galvanic corrosion resulting from new copper pipes coupled with existing lead pipes that have been in service for many years can dramatically increase the amount of lead released into drinking water supplies. During galvanic corrosion, when the oxidation-reduction reaction occurs on the lead pipe, an oxidized species of elemental lead, lead +2, is formed as scale. This is the reason of the increase in the amount of lead in the Lead +2 is much more soluble than elemental lead and more readily leaches into the water. Two ways of chlorinating water to disinfect include using free chlorine, which is essentially bleach, or they use chloramines, which are basically composed of bleach combined with ammonia (NH3).
Wilson A.G.,Carnegie Mellon University |
Gilboa E.,WUSTL |
Nehorai A.,WUSTL |
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems | Year: 2014
The ability to automatically discover patterns and perform extrapolation is an essential quality of intelligent systems. Kernel methods, such as Gaussian processes, have great potential for pattern extrapolation, since the kernel flexibly and inter-pretably controls the generalisation properties of these methods. However, automatically extrapolating large scale multidimensional patterns is in general difficult, and developing Gaussian process models for this purpose involves several challenges. A vast majority of kernels, and kernel learning methods, currently only succeed in smoothing and interpolation. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that Gaussian processes are typically only tractable for small datasets, and scaling an expressive kernel learning approach poses different challenges than scaling a standard Gaussian process model. One faces additional computational constraints, and the need to retain significant model structure for expressing the rich information available in a large dataset. In this paper, we propose a Gaussian process approach for large scale multidimensional pattern extrapolation. We recover sophisticated out of class kernels, perform texture extrapolation, inpainting, and video extrapolation, and long range forecasting of land surface temperatures, all on large multidimensional datasets, including a problem with 383,400 training points. The proposed method significantly outperforms alternative scalable and flexible Gaussian process methods, in speed and accuracy. Moreover, we show that a distinct combination of expressive kernels, a fully non-parametric representation, and scalable inference which exploits existing model structure, are critical for large scale multidimensional pattern extrapolation.