ResearchPad - computer-software https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A content analysis-based approach to explore simulation verification and identify its current challenges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14497 Verification is a crucial process to facilitate the identification and removal of errors within simulations. This study explores semantic changes to the concept of simulation verification over the past six decades using a data-supported, automated content analysis approach. We collect and utilize a corpus of 4,047 peer-reviewed Modeling and Simulation (M&S) publications dealing with a wide range of studies of simulation verification from 1963 to 2015. We group the selected papers by decade of publication to provide insights and explore the corpus from four perspectives: (i) the positioning of prominent concepts across the corpus as a whole; (ii) a comparison of the prominence of verification, validation, and Verification and Validation (V&V) as separate concepts; (iii) the positioning of the concepts specifically associated with verification; and (iv) an evaluation of verification’s defining characteristics within each decade. Our analysis reveals unique characterizations of verification in each decade. The insights gathered helped to identify and discuss three categories of verification challenges as avenues of future research, awareness, and understanding for researchers, students, and practitioners. These categories include conveying confidence and maintaining ease of use; techniques’ coverage abilities for handling increasing simulation complexities; and new ways to provide error feedback to model users.

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<![CDATA[Fear and stock price bubbles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13818 I evaluate Alan Greenspan’s claim that stock price bubbles build up in periods of euphoria and tend to burst due to increasing fear. Indeed, there is evidence that e.g. during a crisis, triggered by increasing fear, both qualitative and quantitative measures of risk aversion increase substantially. It is argued that fear is a potential mechanism underlying financial decisions and drives the countercyclical risk aversion. Inspired by this evidence, I construct an euphoria/fear index, which is based on an economic model of time varying risk aversion. Based on US industry returns 1959–2014, my findings suggest that (1) Greenspan is correct in that the price run-up initially occurs in periods of euphoria followed by a crash due to increasing fear; (2) on average already roughly a year before an industry is crashing, euphoria is turning into fear, while the market is still bullish; (3) there is no particular euphoria-fear-pattern for price-runs in industries that do not subsequently crash. I interpret the evidence in favor of Greenspan, who was labeled “Mr. Bubble” by the New York Times, and who was accused to be a serial bubble blower.

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<![CDATA[Parametric CAD modeling for open source scientific hardware: Comparing OpenSCAD and FreeCAD Python scripts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N836ce8d9-e17d-43c0-9509-c554011a4818

Open source hardware for scientific equipment needs to provide source files and enough documentation to allow the study, replication and modification of the design. In addition, parametric modeling is encouraged in order to facilitate customization for other experiments. Parametric design using a solid modeling programming language allows customization and provides a source file for the design. OpenSCAD is the most widely used scripting tool for parametric modeling of open source labware. However, OpenSCAD lacks the ability to export to standard parametric formats; thus, the parametric dimensional information of the model is lost. This is an important deficiency because it is key to share the design in the most accessible formats with no information loss. In this work we analyze OpenSCAD and compare it with FreeCAD Python scripts. We have created a parametric open source hardware design to compare these tools. Our findings show that although Python for FreeCAD is more arduous to learn, its advantages counterbalance the initial difficulties. The main benefits are being able to export to standard parametric models; using Python language with its libraries; and the ability to use and integrate the models in its graphical interface. Thus, making it more appropriate to design open source hardware for scientific equipment.

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<![CDATA[SimKinet: A free educational tool based on an electrical analogy to solve chemical kinetic equations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1982d5eed0c484b4d822

In this article we introduce the software SimKinet, a free tool specifically designed to solve systems of differential equations without any programming skill. The underlying method is the so-called Network Simulation Method, which designs and solves an electrical network equivalent to the mathematical problem. SimKinet is versatile, fast, presenting a real user-friendly interface, and can be employed for both educational and researching purposes. It is particularly useful in the first courses of different scientific degrees, mainly Chemistry and Physics, especially when facing non-analytic or complex-dynamics problems. Moreover, SimKinet would help students to understand fundamental concepts, being an opportunity to improve instruction in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics and other Sciences courses, with no need of advanced knowledge in differential equations. The potency of SimKinet is demonstrated via two applications in chemical kinetics: the photochemical destruction of stratospheric ozone and the chaotic dynamics of the peroxidase-oxidase reaction.

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<![CDATA[A low-cost, autonomous mobile platform for limnological investigations, supported by high-resolution mesoscale airborne imagery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1526d5eed0c48467ae54

Two complementary measurement systems—built upon an autonomous floating craft and a tethered balloon—for lake research and monitoring are presented. The autonomous vehicle was assembled on a catamaran for stability, and is capable of handling a variety of instrumentation for in situ and near-surface measurements. The catamaran hulls, each equipped with a small electric motor, support rigid decks for arranging equipment. An electric generator provides full autonomy for about 8 h. The modular power supply and instrumentation data management systems are housed in two boxes, which enable rapid setup. Due to legal restrictions in Switzerland (where the craft is routinely used), the platform must be observed from an accompanying boat while in operation. Nevertheless, the control system permits fully autonomous operation, with motion controlled by speed settings and waypoints, as well as obstacle detection. On-board instrumentation is connected to a central hub for data storage, with real-time monitoring of measurements from the accompanying boat. Measurements from the floating platform are complemented by mesoscale imaging from an instrument package attached to a He-filled balloon. The aerial package records thermal and RGB imagery, and transmits it in real-time to a ground station. The balloon can be tethered to the autonomous catamaran or to the accompanying boat. Missions can be modified according to imagery and/or catamaran measurements. Illustrative results showing the surface thermal variations of Lake Geneva demonstrate the versatility of the combined floating platform/balloon imagery system setup for limnological investigations.

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<![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[Interventions to improve the quality of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9b8d5eed0c48452a083

Background

Performing high-quality bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the clinical outcomes of victims with sudden cardiac arrest. Thus far, no systematic review has been performed to identify interventions associated with improved bystander CPR quality.

Methods

We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, EBSCO CINAHL, Ovid PsycInfo, Thomson Reuters SCI-EXPANDED, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to retrieve studies published from 1 January 1966 to 5 October 2018 associated with interventions that could improve the quality of bystander CPR. Data regarding participant characteristics, interventions, and design and outcomes of included studies were extracted.

Results

Of the initially identified 2,703 studies, 42 were included. Of these, 32 were randomized controlled trials. Participants included adults, high school students, and university students with non-medical professional majors. Interventions improving bystander CPR quality included telephone dispatcher-assisted CPR (DA-CPR) with simplified or more concrete instructions, compression-only CPR, and other on-scene interventions, such as four-hand CPR for elderly rescuers, kneel on opposite sides for two-person CPR, and CPR with heels for a tired rescuer. Devices providing real-time feedback and mobile devices containing CPR applications or software were also found to be beneficial in improving the quality of bystander CPR. However, using mobile devices for improving CPR quality or for assisting DA-CPR might cause rescuers to delay starting CPR.

Conclusions

To further improve the clinical outcomes of victims with cardiac arrest, these effective interventions may be included in the guidelines for bystander CPR.

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<![CDATA[Employment of GIS techniques to assess the long-term impact of tillage on the soil organic carbon of agricultural fields under hyper-arid conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75abf3d5eed0c484d07f28

A study on six 50 ha agricultural fields was conducted to investigate the effect of conservation tillage practices on the long-term (1990–2016) changes in the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of the topsoil layers (0–10 cm) of agricultural fields. The experimental fields were selected from the 49 fields of the Tawdeehiya Arable Farm (TAF), located 200 kilometers southeast of Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Data sets from laboratory determined SOC and the corresponding Landsat images generated vegetation indices, namely, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Bare Soil Index (BSI), were utilized for the prediction of SOC using multivariate regression techniques. Long-term changes in the SOC content of the experimental fields, as a result of different tillage practices, were also studied. The developed SOC prediction models exhibited high accuracy indicated by R2 values ranging from 0.73 to 0.85, RMSE values of 0.34 to 0.85 g kg-1 and P-values of less than 0.0001. The cross-validation results (R2 of 0.61–0.70, RMSE value of 0.34–0.85 g kg-1 and P-values of less than 0.0001) confirmed the high accuracy of the developed SOC prediction models. Results also revealed that the change in the SOC content was clearly associated with soil tillage practices. On the average, 76% of the all agricultural fields in the experimental farm showed a decrease of up to 24 g kg-1 in their SOC content after 10 years (1990–2000) of continuous conventional tillage practices. On the other hand, an average increase of up to 37 g kg-1 in the SOC content was observed in 88% of the studied fields at the end of the study period (2016), where conservation tillage was a continous and consistent practice in the experimental farm.

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<![CDATA[C-shaped canals in first and second mandibular molars from Brazilian individuals: A prevalence study using cone-beam computed tomography]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9d2d5eed0c48452a238

Introduction

The study aimed to evaluate, through in vivo tomographic analysis, the prevalence of C-shaped canals in mandibular first and second molars of Brazilian individuals, analyzing its frequency by thirds of the roots, and in contralateral teeth.

Methods

Images of 801 mandibular molars (379 first molars and 422 second molars) from 334 Brazilian individuals (142 men and 192 women) were identified through 1544 cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) exams, obtained from a private oral radiologic clinic. The cross-sectional configurations were analyzed to determine the frequency of C-shaped canals at three different axial levels and classified in categories by three experienced endodontists independently.

Results

The incidence of C-shaped canals was 181 (23%). Considering the type of tooth, 91 (24.01%) were identified in the first molars, and 90 (21.32%) were found in the second molars. The incidence was significantly higher in female individuals (P < 0.05) for both first and second molars. The most common C-shaped canal configurations were: C1 (89.01% for first molars and 90% second molars), followed by C2 (8.79% for first molars and 6.66% for second molars) and C4 (2.19% for the first molars and 3.33% for the second molars). Bilateral C-shaped canals were significantly higher than unilateral for both first and second molars (P < 0.01).

Conclusions

The prevalence of C-shaped canals in mandibular molars of the Brazilian individuals was higher than previously reported for both mandibular first (24.01%) and second molars (21.32%). The incidence was significantly higher in female individuals and the coronal portion of the roots. The classic C-shaped format “C1” was the most frequent anatomical configuration. Furthermore, the prevalence of bilateral C-shaped canals was higher for the first molar (61.70%) and lower for the second molar (38.29%).

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<![CDATA[Effort-aware and just-in-time defect prediction with neural network]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df316d5eed0c484580cec

Effort-aware just-in-time (JIT) defect prediction is to rank source code changes based on the likelihood of detects as well as the effort to inspect such changes. Accurate defect prediction algorithms help to find more defects with limited effort. To improve the accuracy of defect prediction, in this paper, we propose a deep learning based approach for effort-aware just-in-time defect prediction. The key idea of the proposed approach is that neural network and deep learning could be exploited to select useful features for defect prediction because they have been proved excellent at selecting useful features for classification and regression. First, we preprocess ten numerical metrics of code changes, and then feed them to a neural network whose output indicates how likely the code change under test contains bugs. Second, we compute the benefit cost ratio for each code change by dividing the likelihood by its size. Finally, we rank code changes according to their benefit cost ratio. Evaluation results on a well-known data set suggest that the proposed approach outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches on each of the subject projects. It improves the average recall and popt by 15.6% and 8.1%, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Acceptability of smartphone applications for global positioning system (GPS) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) research among sexual minority men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d65bd5eed0c484031c98

Background

Emerging research is using global positioning system (GPS) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods among sexual minority men (SMM), a population that experiences multiple health disparities. However, we are not aware of any research that has combined these approaches among SMM, highlighting the need for acceptability and feasibility research. The purpose of this study was to examine the acceptability of implementing GPS and EMA research protocols using smartphone applications among SMM as well as related socio-demographic correlates.

Methods

Data come from a sample of SMM on a popular geosocial-networking app in Paris, France (n = 580). We assessed the acceptability of implementing GPS and EMA research protocols on smartphone apps as well as socio-demographic characteristics (i.e., age, sexual orientation, country of origin, employment status, and relationship status). We examined the anticipated acceptability of GPS and EMA data collection methods as well as socio-demographic correlates of acceptability of GPS and EMA methods.

Results

We found that over half (54.1%) of the sample was willing to download a smartphone app for GPS-based research and we found that almost 60% of the participants were willing to download a smartphone app for EMA-based research. In total, 44.0% reported that they were willing to download both GPS and EMA apps. In addition, we found that older participants were less willing to download a smartphone app for EMA research than younger participants aged 18–24 (40–49 years: aPR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.20, 0.78) and students were more willing to download smartphone apps for both GPS and EMA research (aPR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.02, 1.95).

Conclusion

Results from this study suggest that using smartphone apps to implement GPS and EMA methods among some SMM are acceptable. However, care should be taken as segments of SMM are less likely to be willing to engage in this type of research.

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<![CDATA[OpenCASA: A new open-source and scalable tool for sperm quality analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f54d5eed0c484841137

In the field of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems have proved their utility and potential for assessing sperm quality, improving the prediction of the fertility potential of a seminal dose. Although most laboratories and scientific centers use commercial systems, in the recent years certain free and open-source alternatives have emerged that can reduce the costs that research groups have to face. However, these open-source alternatives cannot analyze sperm kinetic responses to different stimuli, such as chemotaxis, thermotaxis or rheotaxis. In addition, the programs released to date have not usually been designed to encourage the scalability and the continuity of software development. We have developed an open-source CASA software, called OpenCASA, which allows users to study three classical sperm quality parameters: motility, morphometry and membrane integrity (viability) and offers the possibility of analyzing the guided movement response of spermatozoa to different stimuli (useful for chemotaxis, thermotaxis or rheotaxis studies) or different motile cells such as bacteria, using a single software. This software has been released in a Version Control System at Github. This platform will allow researchers not only to download the software but also to be involved in and contribute to further developments. Additionally, a Google group has been created to allow the research community to interact and discuss OpenCASA. For validation of the OpenCASA software, we analysed different simulated sperm populations (for chemotaxis module) and evaluated 36 ejaculates obtained from 12 fertile rams using other sperm analysis systems (for motility, membrane integrity and morphology modules). The results were compared with those obtained by Open-CASA using the Pearson’s correlation and Bland-Altman tests, obtaining a high level of correlation in all parameters and a good agreement between the different used methods and the OpenCASA. With this work, we propose an open-source project oriented to the development of a new software application for sperm quality analysis. This proposed software will use a minimally centralized infrastructure to allow the continued development of its modules by the research community.

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<![CDATA[Impact of a smartphone app on prescriber adherence to antibiotic guidelines in adult patients with community acquired pneumonia or urinary tract infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fec8d5eed0c484135447

Background

Mobile phone apps have been shown to enhance guideline adherence by prescribers, but have not been widely evaluated for their impact on guideline adherence by prescribers caring for inpatients with infections.

Objectives

To determine whether providing the Auckland City Hospital (ACH) antibiotic guidelines in a mobile phone app increased guideline adherence by prescribers caring for inpatients with community acquired pneumonia (CAP) or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Methods

We audited antibiotic prescribing during the first 24 hours after hospital admission in adults admitted during a baseline and an intervention period to determine whether provision of the app increased the level of guideline adherence. To control for changes in prescriber adherence arising from other factors, we performed similar audits of adherence to antibiotic guidelines in two adjacent hospitals.

Results

The app was downloaded by 145 healthcare workers and accessed a total of 3985 times during the three month intervention period. There was an increase in adherence to the ACH antibiotic guidelines by prescribers caring for patients with CAP from 19% (37/199) to 27% (64/237) in the intervention period (p = 0.04); but no change in guideline adherence at an adjacent hospital. There was no change in adherence to the antibiotic guidelines by prescribers caring for patients with UTI at ACH or at the two adjacent hospitals.

Conclusions

Provision of antibiotic guidelines in a mobile phone app can significantly increase guideline adherence by prescribers. However, providing an app which allows easy access to antibiotic guidelines is not sufficient to achieve high levels of prescriber adherence.

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<![CDATA[Ten simple rules for writing statistical book reviews]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536c2bd5eed0c484a49b27

Statistical books can provide deep insights into statistics and software. There are, however, many resources available to the practitioner. Book reviews have the capacity to function as a critical mechanism for the learner to assess the merits of engaging in part, in full, or at all with a book. The “ten simple rules” format, pioneered in computational biology, was applied here to writing effective book reviews for statistics because of the wide breadth of offerings in this domain, including topical introductions, computational solutions, and theory. Learning by doing is a popular paradigm in statistics and computation, but there is still a niche for books in the pedagogy of self-taught and instruction-based learning. Primarily, these rules ensure that book reviews function as a form of short syntheses to inform and guide readers in deciding to use a specific book relative to other options for resolving statistical challenges.

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<![CDATA[EMBL2checklists: A Python package to facilitate the user-friendly submission of plant and fungal DNA barcoding sequences to ENA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7a5d5eed0c48438651a

Background

The submission of DNA sequences to public sequence databases is an essential, but insufficiently automated step in the process of generating and disseminating novel DNA sequence data. Despite the centrality of database submissions to biological research, the range of available software tools that facilitate the preparation of sequence data for database submissions is low, especially for sequences generated via plant and fungal DNA barcoding. Current submission procedures can be complex and prohibitively time expensive for any but a small number of input sequences. A user-friendly software tool is needed that streamlines the file preparation for database submissions of DNA sequences that are commonly generated in plant and fungal DNA barcoding.

Methods

A Python package was developed that converts DNA sequences from the common EMBL and GenBank flat file formats to submission-ready, tab-delimited spreadsheets (so-called ‘checklists’) for a subsequent upload to the annotated sequence section of the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA). The software tool, titled ‘EMBL2checklists’, automatically converts DNA sequences, their annotation features, and associated metadata into the idiosyncratic format of marker-specific ENA checklists and, thus, generates files that can be uploaded via the interactive Webin submission system of ENA.

Results

EMBL2checklists provides a simple, platform-independent tool that automates the conversion of common DNA barcoding sequences into easily editable spreadsheets that require no further processing but their upload to ENA via the interactive Webin submission system. The software is equipped with an intuitive graphical as well as an efficient command-line interface for its operation. The utility of the software is illustrated by its application in four recent investigations, including plant phylogenetic and fungal metagenomic studies.

Discussion

EMBL2checklists bridges the gap between common software suites for DNA sequence assembly and annotation and the interactive data submission process of ENA. It represents an easy-to-use solution for plant and fungal biologists without bioinformatics expertise to generate submission-ready checklists from common DNA sequence data. It allows the post-processing of checklists as well as work-sharing during the submission process and solves a critical bottleneck in the effort to increase participation in public data sharing.

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<![CDATA[Context-explorer: Analysis of spatially organized protein expression in high-throughput screens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366800d5eed0c4841a6d01

A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of the cellular microenvironment as a regulator of phenotypic and functional cellular responses to perturbations. We have previously developed cell patterning techniques to control population context parameters, and here we demonstrate context-explorer (CE), a software tool to improve investigation cell fate acquisitions through community level analyses. We demonstrate the capabilities of CE in the analysis of human and mouse pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs, mPSCs) patterned in colonies of defined geometries in multi-well plates. CE employs a density-based clustering algorithm to identify cell colonies. Using this automatic colony classification methodology, we reach accuracies comparable to manual colony counts in a fraction of the time, both in micropatterned and unpatterned wells. Classifying cells according to their relative position within a colony enables statistical analysis of spatial organization in protein expression within colonies. When applied to colonies of hPSCs, our analysis reveals a radial gradient in the expression of the transcription factors SOX2 and OCT4. We extend these analyses to colonies of different sizes and shapes and demonstrate how the metrics derived by CE can be used to asses the patterning fidelity of micropatterned plates. We have incorporated a number of features to enhance the usability and utility of CE. To appeal to a broad scientific community, all of the software’s functionality is accessible from a graphical user interface, and convenience functions for several common data operations are included. CE is compatible with existing image analysis programs such as CellProfiler and extends the analytical capabilities already provided by these tools. Taken together, CE facilitates investigation of spatially heterogeneous cell populations for fundamental research and drug development validation programs.

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<![CDATA[Evaluating probabilistic programming languages for simulating quantum correlations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bbad5eed0c48491e06f

This article explores how probabilistic programming can be used to simulate quantum correlations in an EPR experimental setting. Probabilistic programs are based on standard probability which cannot produce quantum correlations. In order to address this limitation, a hypergraph formalism was programmed which both expresses the measurement contexts of the EPR experimental design as well as associated constraints. Four contemporary open source probabilistic programming frameworks were used to simulate an EPR experiment in order to shed light on their relative effectiveness from both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. We found that all four probabilistic languages successfully simulated quantum correlations. Detailed analysis revealed that no language was clearly superior across all dimensions, however, the comparison does highlight aspects that can be considered when using probabilistic programs to simulate experiments in quantum physics.

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<![CDATA[Dragonfly Hunter CZ: Mobile application for biological species recognition in citizen science]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa56cd5eed0c484ca42a4

Citizen science and data collected from various volunteers have an interesting potential in aiding the understanding of many biological and ecological processes. We describe a mobile application that allows the public to map and report occurrences of the odonata species (dragonflies and damselflies) found in the Czech Republic. The application also helps in species classification based on observation details such as date, GPS coordinates, and the altitude, biotope, suborder, and colour. Dragonfly Hunter CZ is a free Android application built on the open-source framework NativeScript using the JavaScript programming language which is now fully available on Google Play. The server side is powered by Apache Server with PHP and MariaDB SQL database. A mobile application is a fast and accurate way to obtain data pertaining to the odonata species, which can be used after expert verification for ecological studies and conservation basis like Red Lists and policy instruments. We expect it to be effective in encouraging Citizen Science and in promoting the proactive reporting of odonates. It can also be extended to the reporting and monitoring of other plant and animal species.

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<![CDATA[Ten simple rules for documenting scientific software]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254517d5eed0c48442be5e ]]> <![CDATA[Making prescriptions “talk” to stroke and heart attack survivors to improve adherence: Results of a randomized clinical trial (The Talking Rx Study)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c25451ad5eed0c48442beb0

Background

We developed and tested the effectiveness of a tailored health information technology driven intervention: “Talking Prescriptions” (Talking Rx) to improve medication adherence in a resource challenged environment.

Methods

We conducted a parallel, randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded trial at the Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi, Pakistan. Adults with diagnosis of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or coronary artery disease (CAD) diagnosed least one month before enrollment, on anti-platelets and statins, with access to a mobile phone were enrolled. The intervention group received a) Daily Interactive Voice Response (IVR) call services regarding specific statin and antiplatelet b) Daily tailored medication reminders for statin and antiplatelet and c) Weekly lifestyle modification messages for a period of 3 months. We assessed Medication adherence to statin and antiplatelets by a validated version of the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence scale 8 (MMAS-8) at 3 months by a blinded assessment officer. Analysis was conducted by intention-to-treat principle (ITT).

Results

Between April 2015 and December 2015, 197 participants (99 in intervention and 98 in the usual care group) enrolled in the Talking Rx Study. The dropout rate was 9.6%. Baseline group characteristics were similar. At baseline, the mean MMAS-8 was 6.68 (SD = 1.28) in the intervention group and 6.77 (SD = 1.36) in usual care group. At end of follow-up, the mean MMAS-8 increased to 7.41(0.78) in the intervention group compared with 7.38 (0.99) in usual care group with mean difference of 0.03 (S.D 0.13) (95% C.I [-0.23, 0.29]), which was not statistically significant. (P-Value = 0.40) CVA patients showed a relatively greater magnitude of adherence via the MMAS-8 at the end of follow up where the mean MMAS-8 increased to 7.29 (S.D 0.82) in the intervention group as compared to 7.07(S.D 1.24) in usual care group with mean difference of 0.22 (SD = 0.22) 95% C.I (-0.20, 0.65) with (P-value = 0.15). Around 84% of those on intervention arm used the service, calling at least 3 times and listening to their prescriptions for an average of 8 minutes. No user was excluded due to technologic reasons.

Conclusion

The use of a phone based medication adherence program was feasible in LMIC settings with high volume clinics and low patient literacy. In this early study, with limited follow up, the program did not achieve any statistically significant differences in adherence behavior as self—reported by the MMAS-8 Scale.

Trial registration

Clinical Trials.gov NCT02354040.

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