ResearchPad - communications https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[What makes an effective grants peer reviewer? An exploratory study of the necessary skills]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13869 This exploratory mixed methods study describes skills required to be an effective peer reviewer as a member of review panels conducted for federal agencies that fund research, and examines how reviewer experience and the use of technology within such panels impacts reviewer skill development. Two specific review panel formats are considered: in-person face-to-face and virtual video conference. Data were collected through interviews with seven program officers and five expert peer review panelists, and surveys from 51 respondents. Results include the skills reviewers’ consider necessary for effective review panel participation, their assessment of the relative importance of these skills, how they are learned, and how review format affects skill development and improvement. Results are discussed relative to the peer review literature and with consideration of the importance of professional skills needed by successful scientists and peer reviewers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Left powerless: A qualitative social media content analysis of the Dutch #breakthesilence campaign on negative and traumatic experiences of labour and birth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13813 Disrespect and abuse during labour and birth are increasingly reported all over the world. In 2016, a Dutch client organization initiated an online campaign, #genoeggezwegen (#breakthesilence) which encouraged women to share negative and traumatic maternity care experiences. This study aimed (1) to determine what types of disrespect and abuse were described in #genoeggezwegen and (2) to gain a more detailed understanding of these experiences.MethodsA qualitative social media content analysis was carried out in two phases. (1) A deductive coding procedure was carried out to identify types of disrespect and abuse, using Bohren et al.’s existing typology of mistreatment during childbirth. (2) A separate, inductive coding procedure was performed to gain further understanding of the data.Results438 #genoeggezwegen stories were included. Based on the typology of mistreatment during childbirth, it was found that situations of ineffective communication, loss of autonomy and lack of informed consent and confidentiality were most often described. The inductive analysis revealed five major themes: ‘‘lack of informed consent”; ‘‘not being taken seriously and not being listened to”; ‘‘lack of compassion”; ‘‘use of force”; and ‘‘short and long term consequences”. “Left powerless” was identified as an overarching theme that occurred throughout all five main themes.ConclusionThis study gives insight into the negative and traumatic maternity care experiences of Dutch women participating in the #genoeggezwegen campaign. This may indicate that disrespect and abuse during labour and birth do happen in the Netherlands, although the current study gives no insight into prevalence. The findings of this study may increase awareness amongst maternity care providers and the community of the existence of disrespect and abuse in Dutch maternity care, and encourage joint effort on improving care both individually and systemically/institutionally. ]]> <![CDATA[Vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and their interaction in relation to colorectal cancer recurrence and all-cause mortality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12388 Higher concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] at diagnosis are associated with a lower mortality risk in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. However, magnesium and calcium are important in vitamin D metabolism.ObjectivesWe aimed to investigate 25(OH)D3, magnesium, or calcium and their interaction among patients with CRC in relation to recurrence and all-cause mortality.MethodsThe study population included 1169 newly diagnosed stage I–III CRC patients from 2 prospective cohorts. Associations between 25(OH)D3 concentrations, magnesium or calcium intake through diet and/or supplements at diagnosis, and recurrence and all-cause mortality were evaluated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. The interaction between 25(OH)D3 and magnesium or calcium was assessed by investigating 1) joint compared with separate effects, using a single reference category; and 2) the effect estimates of 1 factor across strata of another.ResultsSerum 25(OH)D3, calcium, and magnesium, alone and their interactions, were not associated with recurrence. Serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations seemed to be associated with all-cause mortality. An inverse association between magnesium intake (HRQ3 vs. Q1: 0.55; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.95 and HRQ4 vs. Q1: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.35, 1.21), but not calcium intake, and all-cause mortality was observed. When investigating the interaction between 25(OH)D3 and magnesium, we observed the lowest risk of all-cause mortality in patients with sufficient vitamin D concentrations (≥50 nmol/L) and a high magnesium intake (median split) (HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.31, 0.89) compared with patients who were vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L) and had a low magnesium intake. No interactions between calcium and vitamin D in relation to all-cause mortality were observed.ConclusionsOur findings suggest that the presence of an adequate status of 25(OH)D3 in combination with an adequate magnesium intake is essential in lowering the risk of mortality in CRC patients, yet the underlying mechanism should be studied. In addition, diet and lifestyle intervention studies are needed to confirm our findings. The COLON study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03191110. The EnCoRe study was registered at trialregister.nl as NTR7099. ]]> <![CDATA[Could vitamin D reduce obesity-associated inflammation? Observational and Mendelian randomization study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12372 Obesity is associated with inflammation but the role of vitamin D in this process is not clear.ObjectivesWe aimed to assess the associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], BMI, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers, and to assess the role of vitamin D as a potential mediator in the association between higher BMI and inflammation.MethodsNorthern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966) 31-y data on 3586 individuals were analyzed to examine the observational associations between BMI, 25(OH)D, and 16 inflammatory biomarkers. Multivariable regression analyses and 2-sample regression-based Mendelian randomization (MR) mediation analysis were performed to assess any role of vitamin D in mediating a causal effect of BMI on inflammatory biomarkers [soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP)] for which observational associations were detected. For MR, genome-wide association study summary results ranging from 5163 to 806,834 individuals were used for biomarkers, 25(OH)D, and BMI. Findings were triangulated with a literature review of vitamin D supplementation trials.ResultsIn NFBC1966, mean BMI (kg/m2) was 24.8 (95% CI: 24.7, 25.0) and mean 25(OH)D was 50.3 nmol/L (95% CI: 49.8, 50.7 nmol/L). Inflammatory biomarkers correlated as 4 independent clusters: interleukins, adhesion molecules, acute-phase proteins, and chemokines. BMI was positively associated with 9 inflammatory biomarkers and inversely with 25(OH)D (false discovery rate < 0.05). 25(OH)D was inversely associated with sICAM-1, hs-CRP, and AGP, which were positively associated with BMI. The MR analyses showed causal association of BMI on these 3 inflammatory biomarkers. There was no observational or MR evidence that circulating 25(OH)D concentrations mediated the association between BMI and these 3 inflammatory markers. Review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) supported our findings showing no impact of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers.ConclusionsThe findings from our observational study and causal MR analyses, together with data from RCTs, do not support a beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation on obesity-related inflammation. ]]> <![CDATA[Effects of distraction on taste-related neural processing: a cross-sectional fMRI study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12368 In the current obesogenic environment we often eat while electronic devices, such as smart phones, computers, or the television, distract us. Such “distracted eating” is associated with increased food intake and overweight. However, the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of this phenomenon are unknown.ObjectiveOur aim was to elucidate these mechanisms by investigating whether distraction attenuates processing in the primary and secondary taste cortices, located in the insula and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), respectively.MethodsForty-one healthy, normal-weight participants received fixed amounts of higher- and lower-sweetness isocaloric chocolate milk while performing a high- or low-distracting detection task during fMRI in 2 test sessions. Subsequently, we measured ad libitum food intake.ResultsAs expected, a primary taste cortex region in the right insula responded more to the sweeter drink (P < 0.001, uncorrected). Distraction did not affect this insular sweetness response across the group, but did weaken sweetness-related connectivity of this region to a secondary taste region in the right OFC (P–family-wise error, cluster, small-volume corrected = 0.020). Moreover, individual differences in distraction-related attenuation of taste activation in the insula predicted increased subsequent ad libitum food intake after distraction (= 0.36).ConclusionsThese results reveal a mechanism explaining how distraction during consumption attenuates neural taste processing. Moreover, our study shows that such distraction-induced decreases in neural taste processing contribute to individual differences in the susceptibility for overeating. Thus, being mindful about the taste of food during consumption could perhaps be part of successful prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, which should be further tested in these target groups. This study was preregistered at the Open Science Framework as https://bit.ly/31RtDHZ. ]]> <![CDATA[TREC-COVID: rationale and structure of an information retrieval shared task for COVID-19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12285 TREC-COVID is an information retrieval (IR) shared task initiated to support clinicians and clinical research during the COVID-19 pandemic. IR for pandemics breaks many normal assumptions, which can be seen by examining 9 important basic IR research questions related to pandemic situations. TREC-COVID differs from traditional IR shared task evaluations with special considerations for the expected users, IR modality considerations, topic development, participant requirements, assessment process, relevance criteria, evaluation metrics, iteration process, projected timeline, and the implications of data use as a post-task test collection. This article describes how all these were addressed for the particular requirements of developing IR systems under a pandemic situation. Finally, initial participation numbers are also provided, which demonstrate the tremendous interest the IR community has in this effort.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Statistical Modeling of the Course of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Outbreak: A Comparative Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11269 This study aims to provide both a model by using cumulative cases and cumulative death toll for SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) outbreak in four countries, China, Italy, South Korea, and Turkey, starting from the first diagnosis and to compare associated indicators. The most successful estimation was obtained from the cubic model with natural logarithm for China, Italy, South Korea, and Turkey. The success of the models was around 99%. However, differences began to emerge in China, Italy, and South Korea after the second week. Although the highest number of new cases per 1 million people in China was 9.8 on February 28, 2020; it was 108.4 on March 21, 2020, in Italy; and this was 16.6 on March 5, 2020, in South Korea. On the other hand, the number of new cases was 24.6 per 1 million people on March 27, 2020, in Turkey. The log-cubic model proposed in this study has been set forth to obtain successful results for aforementioned countries, as well as to estimate the course of the COVID-19 outbreak. Other factors such as climacteric factors and genetic differences, which may have an impact on viral spreading and transmission, would also have strengthened the model prediction capacity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Mechanism to prevent the abuse of IPv6 fragmentation in OpenFlow networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7717 OpenFlow makes a network highly flexible and fast-evolving by separating control and data planes. The control plane thus becomes responsive to changes in topology and load balancing requirements. OpenFlow also offers a new approach to handle security threats accurately and responsively. Therefore, it is used as an innovative firewall that acts as a first-hop security to protect networks against malicious users. However, the firewall provided by OpenFlow suffers from Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) fragmentation, which can be used to bypass the OpenFlow firewall. The OpenFlow firewall cannot identify the message payload unless the switch implements IPv6 fragment reassembly. This study tests the IPv6 fragmented packets that can evade the OpenFlow firewall, and proposes a new mechanism to guard against attacks carried out by malicious users to exploit IPv6 fragmentation loophole in OpenFlow networks. The proposed mechanism is evaluated in a simulated environment by using six scenarios, and results exhibit that the proposed mechanism effectively fixes the loophole and successfully prevents the abuse of IPv6 fragmentation in OpenFlow networks.

]]>
<![CDATA[Carbon Dioxide Activation at Metal Centers: Evolution of Charge Transfer from Mg <sup>.+</sup> to CO<sub>2</sub> in [MgCO<sub>2</sub>(H<sub>2</sub>O)<sub><i>n</i></sub>]<sup>.+</sup>, <i>n=</i>0–8]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8303 One, two, three: Three water molecules activate carbon dioxide when coordinated to Mg .+ in the gas phase, pushing electron density from the magnesium center since they are keen on interacting with an Mg2+ ion. For the same reason, they squeeze in between CO2 .− and the metal center if there are five or more. This sequence of electron transfer followed by formation of a solvent‐separated ion pair is unraveled by infrared spectroscopy.

]]>
<![CDATA[Spontaneous repulsion in the A+B→0 reaction on coupled networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8193 We study the transient dynamics of an A+B→0 process on a pair of randomly coupled networks, where reactants are initially separated. We find that, for sufficiently small fractions q of cross couplings, the concentration of A (or B) particles decays linearly in a first stage and crosses over to a second linear decrease at a mixing time tx. By numerical and analytical arguments, we show that for symmetric and homogeneous structures tx∝(〈k〉/q)log(〈k〉/q) where 〈k〉 is the mean degree of both networks. Being this behavior is in marked contrast with a purely diffusive process, where the mixing time would go simply like 〈k〉/q, we identify the logarithmic slowing down in tx to be the result of a spontaneous mechanism of repulsion between the reactants A and B due to the interactions taking place at the networks' interface. We show numerically how this spontaneous repulsion effect depends on the topology of the underlying networks.

]]>
<![CDATA[Emergence of power laws in noncritical neuronal systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8183 Experimental and computational studies provide compelling evidence that neuronal systems are characterized by power-law distributions of neuronal avalanche sizes. This fact is interpreted as an indication that these systems are operating near criticality, and, in turn, typical properties of critical dynamical processes, such as optimal information transmission and stability, are attributed to neuronal systems. The purpose of this Rapid Communication is to show that the presence of power-law distributions for the size of neuronal avalanches is not a sufficient condition for the system to operate near criticality. Specifically, we consider a simplistic model of neuronal dynamics on networks and show that the degree distribution of the underlying neuronal network may trigger power-law distributions for neuronal avalanches even when the system is not in its critical regime. To certify and explain our findings we develop an analytical approach based on percolation theory and branching processes techniques.

]]>
<![CDATA[Role of hubs in the synergistic spread of behavior]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7194 The spread of behavior in a society has two major features: the synergy of multiple spreaders and the dominance of hubs. While strong synergy is known to induce mixed-order transitions (MOTs) at percolation, the effects of hubs on the phenomena are yet to be clarified. By analytically solving the generalized epidemic process on random scale-free networks with the power-law degree distribution pk∼k−α, we clarify how the dominance of hubs in social networks affects the conditions for MOTs. Our results show that, for α<4, an abundance of hubs drive MOTs, even if a synergistic spreading event requires an arbitrarily large number of adjacent spreaders. In particular, for 2<α<3, we find that a global cascade is possible even when only synergistic spreading events are allowed. These transition properties are substantially different from those of cooperative contagions, which are another class of synergistic cascading processes exhibiting MOTs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Using a PCR‐Based Method To Analyze and Model Large, Heterogeneous Populations of DNA<a href="#cbic201900603-note-1001">†</a> ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7134 Uncovering diversity data: The study of populations in large and highly diverse libraries is limited by the capability of collecting and analyzing data. A chemical method based on real‐time PCR can be used as a function (F) to calculate the diversity (D) and concentration (C) of a DNA library, which can be considered as a group of variables (X).

]]>
<![CDATA[Visible‐Light Controlled Divergent Catalysis Using a Bench‐Stable Cobalt(I) Hydride Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7082 Night and day: A rare example of switching product outcome depending on light‐dark is reported. Using a cobalt(I) hydride complex, hydroborated products are obtained under visible‐light irradiation whereas, in contrast, alkene isomerisation occurs in the dark. This dual‐function catalysis results from alteration of the coordination sphere surrounding the metal centre.

]]>
<![CDATA[Smart Protein‐Based Formulation of Dendritic Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles: Toward Oral Delivery of Insulin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7038 Insulin delivery: A pH‐responsive protein combined with the key attributes of dendrimer‐like mesoporous silica nanoparticles act synergistically as a smart oral drug‐delivery platform to reduce substantially the premature release and degradation of gastro‐sensitive insulin. As evidenced by confocal microscopy, the designed nanocarriers mediated significant cellular permeation of the nanopore‐confined fluorescent‐labeled insulin across human intestinal cells (see figure).

]]>
<![CDATA[Mercury‐Free Synthesis of Pincer [C^N^C]Au<sup>III</sup> Complexes by an Oxidative Addition/CH Activation Cascade]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7017 Non‐toxic route: A flexible photochemical approach with high functional‐group tolerance avoids the use of toxic mercury in the preparation of organogold(III) C^N^C pincer complexes. The precursors are readily available starting materials.

]]>
<![CDATA[Synthesis of α,β‐ and β‐Unsaturated Acids and Hydroxy Acids by Tandem Oxidation, Epoxidation, and Hydrolysis/Hydrogenation of Bioethanol Derivatives]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6985 A flexible chemical platform is described for the conversion of bioethanol into three distinct specialty chemical building blocks at high yields: crotonic acid (i, 62 %), 3‐hydroxy butanoic acid (ii, 29 %), and 2,3‐dihydroxyacid (iii, 21 %). The products can serve as basis for the production of numerous high‐value chemicals.

]]>
<![CDATA[Real‐Time BODIPY‐Binding Assay To Screen Inhibitors of the Early Oligomerization Process of Aβ1–42 Peptide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6976 The sooner the better: Early amyloid beta (Aβ42) oligomers are known to be cytotoxic species in Alzheimer's disease. A real‐time boron‐dipyrromethene (BODIPY) fluorescence assay can be used to monitor the time course of the early stages of aggregation to provide valuable information on potential inhibitors of early Aβ42 oligomerization.

]]>
<![CDATA[Improved Acid Resistance of a Metal–Organic Cage Enables Cargo Release and Exchange between Hosts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6946 A strategy for improving the acid resistance of a tetrahedral cage has been developed by incorporating additional free pyridyl units on its vertices. The guest binding properties of the cage are also altered compared to the analogous tetrahedron without these peripheral groups, allowing the functions of complete cargo delivery and exchange between the two capsules by using acid and base as chemical stimuli.

]]>
<![CDATA[Concentration‐Dependent Seeding as a Strategy for Fabrication of Densely Packed Surface‐Mounted Metal–Organic Frameworks (SURMOF) Layers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6933 Insights from in situ and ex situ investigation on the concentration dependency of the layer‐by‐layer (LbL) growth of metal–organic frameworks on surfaces markedly improve control of the LbL process. Even at reduced cycle numbers, by varying reactant concentrations, densely packed yet thin films could be produced, which are highly desired for various applications.

]]>