ResearchPad - commerce https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Traditional milk transformation schemes in Côte d’Ivoire and their impact on the prevalence of <i>Streptococcus bovis</i> complex bacteria in dairy products]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14743 The Streptococcus bovis/Streptococcus equinus complex (SBSEC) and possibly Streptococcus infantarius subsp. infantarius (Sii) are associated with human and animal diseases. Sii predominate in spontaneously fermented milk products with unknown public health effects. Sii/SBSEC prevalence data from West Africa in correlation with milk transformation practices are limited. Northern Côte d’Ivoire served as study area due to its importance in milk production and consumption and to link a wider Sudano-Sahelian pastoral zone of cross-border trade. We aimed to describe the cow milk value chain and determine Sii/SBSEC prevalence with a cross-sectional study. Dairy production practices were described as non-compliant with basic hygiene standards. The system is influenced by secular sociocultural practices and environmental conditions affecting product properties. Phenotypic and molecular analyses identified SBSEC in 27/43 (62.8%) fermented and 26/67 (38.8%) unfermented milk samples. Stratified by collection stage, fermented milk at producer and vendor levels featured highest SBSEC prevalence of 71.4% and 63.6%, respectively. Sii with 62.8% and 38.8% as well as Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. macedonicus with 7.0% and 7.5% were the predominant SBSEC species identified among fermented and unfermented milk samples, respectively. The population structure of Sii/SBSEC isolates seems to reflect evolving novel dairy-adapted, non-adapted and potentially pathogenic lineages. Northern Côte d’Ivoire was confirmed as area with high Sii presence in dairy products. The observed production practices and the high diversity of Sii/SBSEC supports in-depth investigations on Sii ecology niche, product safety and related technology in the dairy value chain potentially affecting large population groups across sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Process evaluation of health system costing – Experience from CHSI study in India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14482 A national study, ‘Costing of healthcare services in India’ (CHSI) aimed at generating reliable healthcare cost estimates for health technology assessment and price-setting is being undertaken in India. CHSI sampled 52 public and 40 private hospitals in 13 states and used a mixed micro-costing approach. This paper aims to outline the process, challenges and critical lessons of cost data collection to feed methodological and quality improvement of data collection.MethodsAn exploratory survey with 3 components–an online semi-structured questionnaire, group discussion and review of monitoring data, was conducted amongst CHSI data collection teams. There were qualitative and quantitative components. Difficulty in obtaining individual data was rated on a Likert scale.ResultsMean time taken to complete cost data collection in one department/speciality was 7.86(±0.51) months, majority of which was spent on data entry and data issues resolution. Data collection was most difficult for determination of equipment usage (mean difficulty score 6.59±0.52), consumables prices (6.09±0.58), equipment price(6.05±0.72), and furniture price(5.64±0.68). Human resources, drugs & consumables contributed to 78% of total cost and 31% of data collection time. However, furniture, overheads and equipment consumed 51% of time contributing only 9% of total cost. Seeking multiple permissions, absence of electronic records, multiple sources of data were key challenges causing delays.ConclusionsMicro-costing is time and resource intensive. Addressing key issues prior to data collection would ease the process of data collection, improve quality of estimates and aid priority setting. Electronic health records and availability of national cost data base would facilitate conducting costing studies. ]]> <![CDATA[A metamorphic testing approach for event sequences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac5fd5eed0c484d0865d

Test oracles are commonly used in software testing to determine the correctness of the execution results of test cases. However, the testing of many software systems faces the test oracle problem: a test oracle may not always be available, or it may be available but too expensive to apply. One such software system is a system involving abundant business processes. This paper focuses on the testing of business-process-based software systems and proposes a metamorphic testing approach for event sequences, called MTES, to alleviate the oracle problem. We utilized event sequences to represent business processes and then applied the technique of metamorphic testing to test the system without using test oracles. To apply metamorphic testing, we studied the general rules for identifying metamorphic relations for business processes and further demonstrated specific metamorphic relations for individual case studies. Three case studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach. The experimental results show that our approach is feasible and effective in testing the applications with rich business processes. In addition, this paper summarizes the experimental findings and proposes guidelines for selecting good metamorphic relations for business processes.

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<![CDATA[How does capital structure change product-market competitiveness? Evidence from Chinese firms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c63394fd5eed0c484ae6483

Finance research shows capital structure has an important effect on the product-market competitiveness of firms. Our paper documents an asymmetric effect of capital structure on firms’ competitiveness in a sample of Chinese firms. Firms whose capital structure is characterized by a low leverage but rapid leverage growth has a dominant position in their product market. The industry average leverage ratio is also a critical factor influencing firms’ competitiveness. High debt levels hinder firms’ competitiveness. The influence of capital structure on firms’ product-market competitiveness varies based on the extent of industry concentration. In highly concentrated industries, high leverage level and slow leverage growth suppress firms’ competitiveness to a larger extent compared with industries with low concentration.

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<![CDATA[Reciprocal vs nonreciprocal trade agreements: Which have been best to promote exports?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e927d5eed0c48496f89e

The Doha Development Agenda recognizes the central role that international trade can play in the promotion of economic development. In fact, the increase of exports from developing countries to developed nations' markets has been considered a key element for developing countries to realize the potential benefits of globalization. Over the last decades, developed countries have provided preferential access to their markets to developing countries through nonreciprocal trade agreements. Moreover, developing countries have also participated in reciprocal trade agreements. This paper re-examines comparatively the effect of both kinds of trade agreements on exports from developing countries but also from the developed world. In line with other studies, our results across specifications are unstable. However, the results of our preferred specification give additional support to the argument raised by critics of nonreciprocal preference regimes who consider that developing countries should abandon their reliance on one-way trade preferences in favor of reciprocal agreements.

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<![CDATA[Microbial contamination and tissue procurement location: A conventional operating room is not mandatory. An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f47d5eed0c484d73ac0

Background

Standard operating rooms (SOR) are assumed to be the best place to prevent microbial contamination when performing tissue procurement. However, mobilizing an operating room is time and cost consuming if no organ retrieval is performed. In such case, non-operating dedicated rooms (NODR) are usually recommended by European guidelines for tissue harvesting. Performing the tissue retrieval in the Intensive care unit (ICU) when possible might be considered as it allows a faster and simpler procedure.

Objective

Our primary objective was to study the relationship between the risk of microbial contamination and the location (ICU, SOR or NODR) of the tissue retrieval in heart-beating and non-heart-beating deceased donors.

Materials and method

We retrospectively reviewed all deceased donors’ files of the local tissue banks of Montpellier and Marseille from January 2007 to December 2014. The primary endpoint was the microbial contamination of the grafts. We built a multivariate regression model and used a GEE (generalized estimating equations) allowing us to take into account the clustered structure of our data.

Results

2535 cases were analyzed involving 1027 donors. The retrieval took place for 1189 in a SOR, for 996 in a hospital mortuary (NODR) and for 350 in an ICU. 285 (11%) microbial contaminations were revealed. The multivariate analysis found that the location in a hospital mortuary was associated with a lower risk of contamination (OR 0.43, 95% CI [0.2–0.91], p = 0.03). A procurement performed in the ICU was not associated with a significant increased risk (OR 0.62, 95% CI [0.26–1.48], p = 0.4).

Conclusion

According to our results, performing tissue procurement in dedicated non-sterile rooms could decrease the rate of allograft tissue contamination. This study also suggests that in daily clinical practice, transferring patients from ICU to SOR for tissue procurement could be avoided as it does not lead to less microbial contamination.

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<![CDATA[Distinguishing protest responses in contingent valuation: A conceptualization of motivations and attitudes behind them]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f65d5eed0c484d74dbe

The percentage of protesters in contingent valuation surveys is substantial–about 20% across many studies. This paper seeks to clarify the motivations behind protest responses. In addition, the question whether the estimation of willingness to pay (WTP) is more biased by the exclusion or inclusion of protest bids is yet undecided. Methodological improvements are difficult for three reasons: motivations behind protest responses are largely unclear, definitions of protest differ between studies and often only participants who state a zero WTP are asked for their reasons. Our survey on farm animal welfare (n = 1335) provides detailed motivations, two definitions and includes debriefing of all participants for their WTP. We find that protest bids are not a refusal to answer, they are neither irrational nor driven by lack of understanding. Quite the contrary, a large part of participants is directly motivated by moral reasons. Furthermore, protest responses are not coupled to a zero WTP. In our sample, only 8% out of 32% protesting participants had a zero WTP. Only a small fraction of zero bids (0.4%) are true WTP-statements, i.e. respondents were satisfied with the status quo. This finding has important implications for existing WTP-estimates which might be biased. Finally, we provide detailed estimates of the WTP for animal welfare issues by including and excluding different types of protesters and outliers.

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<![CDATA[Coronary calcium scoring with partial volume correction in anthropomorphic thorax phantom and screening chest CT images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254568d5eed0c48442c6c5

Introduction

The amount of coronary artery calcium determined in CT scans is a well established predictor of cardiovascular events. However, high interscan variability of coronary calcium quantification may lead to incorrect cardiovascular risk assignment. Partial volume effect contributes to high interscan variability. Hence, we propose a method for coronary calcium quantification employing partial volume correction.

Methods

Two phantoms containing artificial coronary artery calcifications and 293 subject chest CT scans were used. The first and second phantom contained nine calcifications and the second phantom contained three artificial arteries with three calcifications of different volumes, shapes and densities. The first phantom was scanned five times with and without extension rings. The second phantom was scanned three times without and with simulated cardiac motion (10 and 30 mm/s). Chest CT scans were acquired without ECG-synchronization and reconstructed using sharp and soft kernels. Coronary calcifications were annotated employing the clinically used intensity value thresholding (130 HU). Thereafter, a threshold separating each calcification from its background was determined using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. Finally, for each lesion the partial content of calcification in each voxel was determined depending on its intensity and the determined threshold.

Results

Clinical calcium scoring resulted in overestimation of calcium volume for medium and high density calcifications in the first phantom, and overestimation of calcium volume for high density and underestimation for low density calcifications in the second phantom. With induced motion these effects were further emphasized. The proposed quantification resulted in better accuracy and substantially lower over- and underestimation of calcium volume even in presence of motion. In chest CT, the agreement between calcium scores from the two reconstructions improved when proposed method was used.

Conclusion

Compared with clinical calcium scoring, proposed quantification provides a better estimate of the true calcium volume in phantoms and better agreement in calcium scores between different subject scan reconstructions.

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<![CDATA[High seroprevalence of Strongyloides stercoralis among individuals from endemic areas considered for solid organ transplant donation: A retrospective serum-bank based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c09940cd5eed0c4842ae1af

Background

Strongyloides stercoralis is a worldwide disseminated parasitic disease that can be transmitted from solid organ transplant (SOT) donors to recipients. We determined the serological prevalence of S. stercoralis among deceased individuals from endemic areas considered for SOT donation, using our institution’s serum bank.

Methodology

Retrospective study including all deceased potential donors from endemic areas of strongyloidiasis considered for SOT between January 2004 and December 2014 in a tertiary care hospital. The commercial serological test IVD-Elisa was used to determine the serological prevalence of S. stercoralis.

Principal findings

Among 1025 deceased individuals during the study period, 90 were from endemic areas of strongyloidiasis. There were available serum samples for 65 patients and 6 of them tested positive for S. stercoralis (9.23%). Only one of the deceased candidates was finally a donor, without transmitting the infection.

Conclusions

Among deceased individuals from endemic areas considered for SOT donation, seroprevalence of strongyloidiasis was high. This highlights the importance of adhering to current recommendations on screening for S. stercoralis among potential SOT donors at high risk of the infection, together with the need of developing a rapid diagnostic test to fully implement these screening strategies.

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<![CDATA[Chimpanzees’ understanding of social leverage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab863d5eed0c484027d7d

Social primates can influence others through the control of resources. For instance, dominant male chimpanzees might allow subordinates access to mate with females in exchange for social support. However, little is known about how chimpanzees strategically use a position of leverage to maximize their own benefits. We address this question by presenting dyads of captive chimpanzee (N = 6) with a task resulting in an unequal reward distribution. To gain the higher reward each individual should wait for their partner to act. In addition, one participant had leverage: access to an alternative secure reward. By varying the presence and value of the leverage we tested whether individuals used it strategically (e.g. by waiting longer for partners to act when they had leverage in the form of alternatives). Additionally, non-social controls served to show if chimpanzees understood the social dilemma. We measured the likelihood to choose the leverage and their latencies to act. The final decision made by the chimpanzees did not differ as a function of condition (test versus non-social control) or the value of the leverage, but they did wait longer to act when the leverage was smaller—particularly in test (versus non-social control) trials suggesting that they understood the conflict of interest involved. The chimpanzees thus recognized the existence of social leverage, but did not use it strategically to maximize their rewards.

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<![CDATA[Quality of medicines in southern Togo: Investigation of antibiotics and of medicines for non-communicable diseases from pharmacies and informal vendors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c09944ad5eed0c4842ae97d

Substandard and falsified medicines represent a serious threat for public health and patient safety. Especially in low and middle-income countries, the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines is reportedly high. However, reliable information on the prevalence of poor-quality medicines is scarce. In this study, 12 essential medicines, including antibiotics, antidiabetics, cardiac drugs and antiasthmatic drugs, were collected from six informal vendors and six licensed pharmacies in the southern part of Togo (regions Maritime and Plateaux). A mystery shopper approach was used in both types of outlets. In total, 64 samples were collected from licensed pharmacies and 30 from informal vendors. Both availability of medicines and prices of medicines were higher in licensed pharmacies than in informal vendors. 92 medicine samples were analyzed by visual examination, followed by chemical analysis for the content and for the dissolution of the active pharmaceutical ingredients according to the respective monographs of the United States Pharmacopoeia. 7 samples (8%) did not comply with the pharmacopoeial specifications, and one sample (1%) showed even extreme deviations. None of the samples was obviously falsified. However, one sample of amoxicillin capsules contained only 47% of the declared content of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, indicating that it may represent amoxicillin capsules 250 mg, rather than 500mg as declared on the label. Medicines stated to originate from Asia (i.e. mainly from India and China) showed a significantly higher proportion (24%) of non-compliant samples than those from Africa and Europe (4%, p = 0.007). High failure rates were observed in medicines both from informal vendors (13%) and from licensed pharmacies (5%), but the difference between both groups was not statistically significant (p = 0.152). The observed high prevalence of substandard medicines requires action from regulatory authorities and health care providers. Testing of selected samples for related substances indicated that inappropriate transport and storage conditions may have been an important cause for substandard quality.

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<![CDATA[Measurement and simulation of the relatively competitive advantages and weaknesses between economies based on bipartite graph theory]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b13a463d7e116be9c9a7

The input-output table is very comprehensive and detailed in describing the national economic systems with abundant economic relationships, which contain supply and demand information among various industrial sectors. The complex network, a theory, and method for measuring the structure of a complex system can depict the structural characteristics of the internal structure of the researched object by measuring the structural indicators of the social and economic systems, revealing the complex relationships between the inner hierarchies and the external economic functions. In this paper, functions of industrial sectors on the global value chain are to be distinguished with bipartite graph theory, and inter-sector competitive relationships are to be extracted through resource allocation process. Furthermore, quantitative analysis indices will be proposed under the perspective of a complex network, which will be used to bring about simulations on the variation tendencies of economies’ status in different situations of commercial intercourses. Finally, a new econophysics analytical framework of international trade is to be established.

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<![CDATA[Potential trajectories of the upcoming forest trading mechanism in Pará State, Brazilian Amazon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc1af

In 2012, the Brazilian government revised the federal Forest Code that governs the use of forest resources on rural properties. The revisions included a forest trading mechanism whereby landowners who deforested more than what is legally allowed before 2008 could absolve their deforestation “debts” by purchasing Environmental Reserve Quotas (CRA) from landowners who conserved more forest than legally required. CRA holds promise as a tool to complement command-and-control initiatives to reduce deforestation and incentivize restoration. However, the success of this instrument depends on how its implementation is governed. This study builds on a few recent assessments of the potential of the CRA in Brazil–but that are focused on biophysical potential–by assessing how a few key implementation decisions may influence the CRA market development. Specifically, this study estimates how decisions on who can participate will likely influence the potential forest surplus and forest debt for the CRA market, and takes into account governance characteristics relevant to the State of Pará, eastern Amazonia. In particular, the study evaluates the effects in the CRA market eligibility after simulating a validation of properties in the environmental rural registry (CAR) and assessing different scenarios surrounding land tenure status of properties. Results show how regulatory decisions on CRA market eligibility will determine the extent to which CRA will serve as a tool to support forest conservation or as a low-cost path to help illegal deforesters to comply with legislation, but with limited additional environmental benefits. The study reviews regulatory options that would reduce the risk of forest oversupply, and thereby increase the additionality of the areas eligible for CRA. Overall, the study demonstrates the importance of including governance as well as biophysical characteristics in assessing the potential of forest trading tools to deliver additional environmental conservation and restoration benefits.

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<![CDATA[Truthful Channel Sharing for Self Coexistence of Overlapping Medical Body Area Networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da23ab0ee8fa60b7fb2b

As defined by IEEE 802.15.6 standard, channel sharing is a potential method to coordinate inter-network interference among Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs) that are close to one another. However, channel sharing opens up new vulnerabilities as selfish MBANs may manipulate their online channel requests to gain unfair advantage over others. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing a truthful online channel sharing algorithm and a companion protocol that allocates channel efficiently and truthfully by punishing MBANs for misreporting their channel request parameters such as time, duration and bid for the channel. We first present an online channel sharing scheme for unit-length channel requests and prove that it is truthful. We then generalize our model to settings with variable-length channel requests, where we propose a critical value based channel pricing and preemption scheme. A bid adjustment procedure prevents unbeneficial preemption by artificially raising the ongoing winner’s bid controlled by a penalty factor λ. Our scheme can efficiently detect selfish behaviors by monitoring a trust parameter α of each MBAN and punish MBANs from cheating by suspending their requests. Our extensive simulation results show our scheme can achieve a total profit that is more than 85% of the offline optimum method in the typical MBAN settings.

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<![CDATA[Time Preferences and Natural Resource Extraction Behavior: An Experimental Study from Artisanal Fisheries in Zanzibar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd011a

Natural resource users face a trade-off between present and future consumption. Using harmful methods or extracting unsustainably, lowers future consumption. Therefore, it is reasonable to posit that people with higher time preferences extract more as compared to people with lower time preferences. The present study combines experimental methods and questionnaire data in order to understand the relationship between individual time preferences and fishers’ extraction behavior. We elicit individual time preferences using an incentivized experiment, linking the resulting time preference measures to extraction data from a questionnaire, as well as data collected from a framed Common Pool Resource (CPR) experiment. Both the experiments and questionnaire were conducted with artisanal fishers in Zanzibar. Our findings suggest that the relationship between time preferences and CPR extraction is not as straightforward as predicted by classical economic theory. In contrast to earlier studies, we find that fishers’ time preferences are negatively correlated to their extraction rates. Our surprising findings can partly be explained by the fact that higher time preferences are associated with lower investment in extraction capability (the disinvestment effect of time preferences), and by fishers´ cognitive abilities.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive Evaluation and Implementation of Improvement Actions in Butcher Shops]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fbab0ee8fa60b720e9

Foodborne pathogens can cause acute and chronic diseases and produce a wide range of symptoms. Since the consumption of ground beef is a risk factor for infections with some bacterial pathogens, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of butcher shops, implemented improvement actions for both butcher shops and consumers, and verified the impact of those actions implemented. A comprehensive evaluation was made and risk was quantified on a 1–100 scale as high-risk (1–40), moderate-risk (41–70) or low-risk (71–100). A total of 172 raw ground beef and 672 environmental samples were collected from 86 butcher shops during the evaluation (2010–2011) and verification (2013) stages of the study. Ground beef samples were analyzed for mesophilic aerobic organisms, Escherichia coli and coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus enumeration. Salmonella spp., E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), and Listeria monocytogenes were detected and isolated from all samples. Risk quantification resulted in 43 (50.0%) high-risk, 34 (39.5%) moderate-risk, and nine (10.5%) low-risk butcher shops. Training sessions for 498 handlers and 4,506 consumers were held. Re-evaluation by risk quantification and microbiological analyses resulted in 19 (22.1%) high-risk, 42 (48.8%) moderate-risk and 25 (29.1%) low-risk butcher shops. The count of indicator microorganisms decreased with respect to the 2010–2011 period. After the implementation of improvement actions, the presence of L. monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and stx genes in ground beef decreased. Salmonella spp. was isolated from 10 (11.6%) ground beef samples, without detecting statistically significant differences between both study periods (evaluation and verification). The percentage of pathogens in environmental samples was reduced in the verification period (Salmonella spp., 1.5%; L. monocytogenes, 10.7%; E. coli O157:H7, 0.6%; non-O157 STEC, 6.8%). Risk quantification was useful to identify those relevant facts in butcher shops. The reduction of contamination in ground beef and the environment was possible after training handlers based on the problems identified in their own butcher shops. Our results confirm the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive risk management program in butcher shops, and the importance of information campaigns targeting consumers. Further collaborative efforts would be necessary to improve foodstuffs safety at retail level and at home.

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<![CDATA[Minimum Field Strength Simulator for Proton Density Weighted MRI]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b6579e

Objective

To develop and evaluate a framework for simulating low-field proton-density weighted MRI acquisitions based on high-field acquisitions, which could be used to predict the minimum B0 field strength requirements for MRI techniques. This framework would be particularly useful in the evaluation of de-noising and constrained reconstruction techniques.

Materials and Methods

Given MRI raw data, lower field MRI acquisitions can be simulated based on the signal and noise scaling with field strength. Certain assumptions are imposed for the simulation and their validity is discussed. A validation experiment was performed using a standard resolution phantom imaged at 0.35 T, 1.5 T, 3 T, and 7 T. This framework was then applied to two sample proton-density weighted MRI applications that demonstrated estimation of minimum field strength requirements: real-time upper airway imaging and liver proton-density fat fraction measurement.

Results

The phantom experiment showed good agreement between simulated and measured images. The SNR difference between simulated and measured was ≤ 8% for the 1.5T, 3T, and 7T cases which utilized scanners with the same geometry and from the same vendor. The measured SNR at 0.35T was 1.8- to 2.5-fold less than predicted likely due to unaccounted differences in the RF receive chain. The predicted minimum field strength requirements for the two sample applications were 0.2 T and 0.3 T, respectively.

Conclusions

Under certain assumptions, low-field MRI acquisitions can be simulated from high-field MRI data. This enables prediction of the minimum field strength requirements for a broad range of MRI techniques.

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<![CDATA[Protocols.io: Virtual Communities for Protocol Development and Discussion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9d83

The detailed know-how to implement research protocols frequently remains restricted to the research group that developed the method or technology. This knowledge often exists at a level that is too detailed for inclusion in the methods section of scientific articles. Consequently, methods are not easily reproduced, leading to a loss of time and effort by other researchers. The challenge is to develop a method-centered collaborative platform to connect with fellow researchers and discover state-of-the-art knowledge. Protocols.io is an open-access platform for detailing, sharing, and discussing molecular and computational protocols that can be useful before, during, and after publication of research results.

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<![CDATA[Oral Cholera Vaccination Delivery Cost in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Analysis Based on Systematic Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0cab0ee8fa60bcaac2

Background

Use of the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is a vital short-term strategy to control cholera in endemic areas with poor water and sanitation infrastructure. Identifying, estimating, and categorizing the delivery costs of OCV campaigns are useful in analyzing cost-effectiveness, understanding vaccine affordability, and in planning and decision making by program managers and policy makers.

Objectives

To review and re-estimate oral cholera vaccination program costs and propose a new standardized categorization that can help in collation, analysis, and comparison of delivery costs across countries.

Data sources

Peer reviewed publications listed in PubMed database, Google Scholar and World Health Organization (WHO) websites and unpublished data from organizations involved in oral cholera vaccination.

Study eligibility criteria

The publications and reports containing oral cholera vaccination delivery costs, conducted in low- and middle-income countries based on World Bank Classification. Limits are humans and publication date before December 31st, 2014.

Participants

No participants are involved, only costs are collected.

Intervention

Oral cholera vaccination and cost estimation.

Study appraisal and synthesis method

A systematic review was conducted using pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Cost items were categorized into four main cost groups: vaccination program preparation, vaccine administration, adverse events following immunization and vaccine procurement; the first three groups constituting the vaccine delivery costs. The costs were re-estimated in 2014 US dollars (US$) and in international dollar (I$).

Results

Ten studies were identified and included in the analysis. The vaccine delivery costs ranged from US$0.36 to US$ 6.32 (in US$2014) which was equivalent to I$ 0.99 to I$ 16.81 (in I$2014). The vaccine procurement costs ranged from US$ 0.29 to US$ 29.70 (in US$2014), which was equivalent to I$ 0.72 to I$ 78.96 (in I$2014). The delivery costs in routine immunization systems were lowest from US$ 0.36 (in US$2014) equivalent to I$ 0.99 (in I$2014).

Limitations

The reported cost categories are not standardized at collection point and may lead to misclassification. Costs for some OCV campaigns are not available and analysis does not include direct and indirect costs to vaccine recipients.

Conclusions and implications of key findings

Vaccine delivery cost estimation is needed for budgeting and economic analysis of vaccination programs. The cost categorization methodology presented in this study is helpful in collecting OCV delivery costs in a standardized manner, comparing delivery costs, planning vaccination campaigns and informing decision-making.

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<![CDATA[What Is a “Community Perception” of REDD+? A Systematic Review of How Perceptions of REDD+ Have Been Elicited and Reported in the Literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db10ab0ee8fa60bcbfc7

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is expected to generate co-benefits and safeguard the interests of people who live in the forested regions where emissions are reduced. Participatory measurement, reporting and verification (PMRV) is one way to ensure that the interests of local people are represented in REDD+. In order to design and use PMRV systems to monitor co-benefits and safeguards, we need to obtain input on how local people perceive REDD+. In the literature, this is widely discussed as “community perceptions of REDD+.” We systematically reviewed this literature to understand how these perceptions have been assessed, focusing specifically on how individual perceptions have been sampled and aggregated into “community perceptions.” Using Google Scholar, we identified 19 publications that reported community perceptions of REDD+, including perceptions of its design, implementation, impacts, relationship with land tenure, and both interest and actual participation by local people. These perceptions were elicited through surveys of probability samples of the local population and interviews with purposively selected community representatives. Many authors did not provide sufficient information on their methods to interpret the reported community perceptions. For example, there was often insufficient detail on the selection of respondents or sampling methods. Authors also reported perceptions by unquantified magnitudes (e.g., “most people”, “the majority”) that were difficult to assess or compare across cases. Given this situation in the scholarly literature, we expect that there are even more severe problems in the voluminous gray literature on REDD+ not indexed by Google Scholar. We suggest that readers need to be cognizant of these issues and that publication outlets should establish guidelines for better reporting, requiring information on the reference population, sampling methods, and methods used to aggregate individual responses into “community perceptions.”

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