ResearchPad - infographics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[SimSurvey: An R package for comparing the design and analysis of surveys by simulating spatially-correlated populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8465 Populations often show complex spatial and temporal dynamics, creating challenges in designing and implementing effective surveys. Inappropriate sampling designs can potentially lead to both under-sampling (reducing precision) and over-sampling (through the extensive and potentially expensive sampling of correlated metrics). These issues can be difficult to identify and avoid in sample surveys of fish populations as they tend to be costly and comprised of multiple levels of sampling. Population estimates are therefore affected by each level of sampling as well as the pathway taken to analyze such data. Though simulations are a useful tool for exploring the efficacy of specific sampling strategies and statistical methods, there are a limited number of tools that facilitate the simulation testing of a range of sampling and analytical pathways for multi-stage survey data. Here we introduce the R package SimSurvey, which has been designed to simplify the process of simulating surveys of age-structured and spatially-distributed populations. The package allows the user to simulate age-structured populations that vary in space and time and explore the efficacy of a range of built-in or user-defined sampling protocols to reproduce the population parameters of the known population. SimSurvey also includes a function for estimating the stratified mean and variance of the population from the simulated survey data. We demonstrate the use of this package using a case study and show that it can reveal unexpected sources of bias and be used to explore design-based solutions to such problems. In summary, SimSurvey can serve as a convenient, accessible and flexible platform for simulating a wide range of sampling strategies for fish stocks and other populations that show complex structuring. Various statistical approaches can then be applied to the results to test the efficacy of different analytical approaches.

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<![CDATA[Long-term outcomes after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b361d5eed0c4843a3f31

Background

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. The aim of this study was to elucidate the long-term outcomes of adult patients with AKI who receive ECMO.

Materials and methods

The study analyzed encrypted datasets from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. The data of 3251 patients who received first-time ECMO treatment between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2013, were analyzed. Characteristics and outcomes were compared between patients who required dialysis for AKI (D-AKI) and those who did not in order to evaluate the impact of D-AKI on long-term mortality and major adverse kidney events.

Results

Of the 3251 patients, 54.1% had D-AKI. Compared with the patients without D-AKI, those with D-AKI had higher rates of all-cause mortality (52.3% vs. 33.3%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53–2.17), chronic kidney disease (13.7% vs. 8.1%; adjusted subdistribution HR [aSHR] 1.66, 95% CI 1.16–2.38), and end-stage renal disease (5.2% vs. 0.5%; aSHR 14.28, 95% CI 4.67–43.62). The long-term mortality of patients who survived more than 90 days after discharge was 22.0% (153/695), 32.3% (91/282), and 50.0% (10/20) in the patients without D-AKI, with recovery D-AKI, and with nonrecovery D-AKI who required long-term dialysis, respectively, demonstrating a significant trend (Pfor trend <0.001).

Conclusion

AKI is associated with an increased risk of long-term mortality and major adverse kidney events in adult patients who receive ECMO.

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<![CDATA[Exponential random graph model parameter estimation for very large directed networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N437fb42a-ebf8-44aa-9399-d12b1354408e

Exponential random graph models (ERGMs) are widely used for modeling social networks observed at one point in time. However the computational difficulty of ERGM parameter estimation has limited the practical application of this class of models to relatively small networks, up to a few thousand nodes at most, with usually only a few hundred nodes or fewer. In the case of undirected networks, snowball sampling can be used to find ERGM parameter estimates of larger networks via network samples, and recently published improvements in ERGM network distribution sampling and ERGM estimation algorithms have allowed ERGM parameter estimates of undirected networks with over one hundred thousand nodes to be made. However the implementations of these algorithms to date have been limited in their scalability, and also restricted to undirected networks. Here we describe an implementation of the recently published Equilibrium Expectation (EE) algorithm for ERGM parameter estimation of large directed networks. We test it on some simulated networks, and demonstrate its application to an online social network with over 1.6 million nodes.

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<![CDATA[Advantages offered by the double magnetic loops versus the conventional single ones]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7571d5eed0c4843cfdb2

Due to their simplicity and operating mode, magnetic loops are one of the most used traffic sensors in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). However, at this moment, their potential is not being fully exploited, as neither the speed nor the length of the vehicles can be surely ascertained with the use of a single magnetic loop. In this way, nowadays the vast majority of them are only being used to measure traffic flow and count vehicles on urban and interurban roads. This is the reason why we presented in a previous paper the double magnetic loop, capable of improving the features and functionalities of the conventional single loop without increasing the cost or introducing additional complexity. In that paper, it was introduced their design and peculiarities, how to calculate their magnetic field and three different methods to calculate their inductance. Therefore, with the purpose of improving the existing infrastructure and providing it with greater potential and reliability, this paper will focus on justifying and demonstrating the advantages offered by these double loops versus the conventional ones. This will involve analyzing the magnetic profiles generated by the passage of vehicles over double loops and comparing them with those already known. Moreover, it will be shown how the vehicle speed, the traffic direction and many other data can be obtained more easily and with less margin of error by using these new inductance signatures.

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<![CDATA[Factors influencing sedentary behaviour: A system based analysis using Bayesian networks within DEDIPAC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525bd5eed0c4842bc6d7

Background

Decreasing sedentary behaviour (SB) has emerged as a public health priority since prolonged sitting increases the risk of non-communicable diseases. Mostly, the independent association of factors with SB has been investigated, although lifestyle behaviours are conditioned by interdependent factors. Within the DEDIPAC Knowledge Hub, a system of sedentary behaviours (SOS)-framework was created to take interdependency among multiple factors into account. The SOS framework is based on a system approach and was developed by combining evidence synthesis and expert consensus. The present study conducted a Bayesian network analysis to investigate and map the interdependencies between factors associated with SB through the life-course from large scale empirical data.

Methods

Data from the Eurobarometer survey (80.2, 2013) that included the International physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ) short as well as socio-demographic information and questions on perceived environment, health, and psychosocial information were enriched with macro-level data from the Eurostat database. Overall, 33 factors were identified aligned to the SOS-framework to represent six clusters on the individual or regional level: 1) physical health and wellbeing, 2) social and cultural context, 3) built and natural environment, 4) psychology and behaviour, 5) institutional and home settings, 6) policy and economics. A Bayesian network analysis was conducted to investigate conditional associations among all factors and to determine their importance within these networks. Bayesian networks were estimated for the complete (23,865 EU-citizens with complete data) sample and for sex- and four age-specific subgroups. Distance and centrality were calculated to determine importance of factors within each network around SB.

Results

In the young (15–25), adult (26–44), and middle-aged (45–64) groups occupational level was directly associated with SB for both, men and women. Consistently, social class and educational level were indirectly associated within male adult groups, while in women factors of the family context were indirectly associated with SB. Only in older adults, factors of the built environment were relevant with regard to SB, while factors of the home and institutional settings were less important compared to younger age groups.

Conclusion

Factors of the home and institutional settings as well as the social and cultural context were found to be important in the network of associations around SB supporting the priority for future research in these clusters. Particularly, occupational status was found to be the main driver of SB through the life-course. Investigating conditional associations by Bayesian networks gave a better understanding of the complex interplay of factors being associated with SB. This may provide detailed insights in the mechanisms behind the burden of SB to effectively inform policy makers for detailed intervention planning. However, considering the complexity of the issue, there is need for a more comprehensive system of data collection including objective measures of sedentary time.

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<![CDATA[The Light Sword Lens - A novel method of presbyopia compensation: Pilot clinical study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8fdd5eed0c48496f5bb

Purpose

Clinical assessment of a new optical element for presbyopia correction–the Light Sword Lens.

Methods

Healthy dominant eyes of 34 presbyopes were examined for visual performance in 3 trials: reference (with lens for distance correction); stenopeic (distance correction with a pinhole ϕ = 1.25 mm) and Light Sword Lens (distance correction with a Light Sword Lens). In each trial, visual acuity was assessed in 7 tasks for defocus from 0.2D to 3.0D while contrast sensitivity in 2 tasks for defocus 0.3D and 2.5D. The Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study protocol and Pelli-Robson method were applied. Within visual acuity and contrast sensitivity results degree of homogeneity through defocus was determined. Reference and stenopeic trials were compared to Light Sword Lens results. Friedman analysis of variance, Nemenyi post-hoc, Wilcoxon tests were used, p-value < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results

In Light Sword Lens trial visual acuity was stable in tested defocus range [20/25–20/32], Stenopeic trial exhibited a limited range of degradation [20/25–20/40]. Light Sword Lens and reference trials contrast sensitivity was high [1.9–2.0 logCS] for both defocus cases, but low in stenopeic condition [1.5–1.7 logCS]. Between-trials comparisons of visual acuity results showed significant differences only for Light Sword Lens versus reference trials and in contrast sensitivity only for Light Sword Lens versus stenopeic trials.

Conclusions

Visual acuity achieved with Light Sword Lens correction in presbyopic eye is comparable to stenopeic but exhibits none significant loss in contrast sensitivity. Such correction method seems to be very promising for novel contact lenses and intraocular lenses design.

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<![CDATA[Spatial visual function in anomalous trichromats: Is less more?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217ddd5eed0c48479472c

Color deficiency is a common inherited disorder affecting 8% of Caucasian males with anomalous trichromacy (AT); it is the most common type of inherited color vision deficiency. Anomalous trichromacy is caused by alteration of one of the three cone-opsins’ spectral sensitivity; it is usually considered to impose marked limitations for daily life as well as for choice of occupation. Nevertheless, we show here that anomalous trichromat subjects have superior basic visual functions such as visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity (CS), and stereo acuity, compared with participants with normal color vision. Both contrast sensitivity and stereo acuity performance were correlated with the severity of color deficiency. We further show that subjects with anomalous trichromacy exhibit a better ability to detect objects camouflaged in natural gray scale figures. The advantages of color-deficient subjects in spatial vision performance could explain the relatively high prevalence of color-vision polymorphism in humans.

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<![CDATA[Cross-sectional survey of off-label and unlicensed prescribing for inpatients at a paediatric teaching hospital in Western Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e4f70d5eed0c484d754d2

Objectives

To evaluate the prevalence of off-label and unlicensed prescribing in inpatients at a major paediatric teaching hospital in Western Australia and to identify which drugs are commonly prescribed off-label or unlicensed, including factors influencing such prescribing.

Methods

A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in June, 2013. Patient and prescribing data were collected from 190 inpatient medication chart records which had been randomly selected from all admissions during the second week of February 2013. Drugs were categorised as licensed, off-label or unlicensed, according to their approved Australian registration product information (PI). All drugs were classified according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) code.

Results

There were 120 male and 70 female inpatients. The average age was 6.0 years (± 4.7). The study included 1160 prescribed drugs suitable for analysis. The number of drugs prescribed per patient ranged from 1 to 25 with an average of 6.1 (± 4.3). More than half (54%) were prescribed off-label. Oxycodone, clonidine, parecoxib and midazolam were always prescribed off-label. The most common off-label drugs were ondansetron (18.5%), fentanyl (12.9%), oxycodone (8.8%) and paracetamol (6.1%). Many ATC classifications included high off-label proportions especially the genitourinary system and sex hormones, respiratory system drugs, systemic hormonal preparations and alimentary tract and metabolism drugs.

Conclusions

This study highlights that prescribing of paediatric drugs needs to be better supported by existing and new evidence. Incentives should be established to foster the conduct of evidence-based studies in the paediatric population. The current level of off-label prescribing raises issues of unexpected toxicity and adverse drug effects in children that are in some cases severely ill.

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<![CDATA[An analysis of network brokerage and geographic location in fifteenth-century AD Northern Iroquoia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5dcd5eed0c484ca96cc

Iroquoian villagers living in present-day Jefferson County, New York, at the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River and the east shore of Lake Ontario, played important roles in regional interactions during the fifteenth century AD, as brokers linking populations on the north shore of Lake Ontario with populations in eastern New York. This study employs a social network analysis and least cost path analysis to assess the degree to which geographical location may have facilitated the brokerage positions of site clusters within pan-Iroquoian social networks. The results indicate that location was a significant factor in determining brokerage. In the sixteenth century AD, when Jefferson County was abandoned, measurable increases in social distance between other Iroquoian populations obtained. These results add to our understandings of the dynamic social landscape of fifteenth and sixteenth century AD northern Iroquoia, complementing recent analyses elsewhere of the roles played in regional interaction networks by populations located along geopolitical frontiers.

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<![CDATA[Construct validity of acute morbidity as a novel outcome for emergency patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667c4d5eed0c4841a637e

Objectives

Validation of acute morbidity as a novel outcome in emergency medicine.

Methods

Construct validity of acute morbidity was established by comparison to other outcomes using linear and logistic regression models.

Results

Data of 4608 patients were analysed. 1869 patients (40.6%) fulfilled the criteria for acute morbidity. Using multivariate analyses, acute morbidity was associated with outcomes such as hospitalisation (OR: 11, 95%-CI 9–13), mortality (OR 15, 95%-CI 6–49), and ICU admission (OR: 46, 95%-CI 25–96). Reliability of the construct “acute morbidity” was estimated using Cohens Kappa, which was 0.96 for intra-rater and 0.94 for inter-rater reliability.

Conclusion

Reliability of the framework for acute morbidity was high. Construct validity was shown by associations with hospitalisation, mortality, and ICU admission.

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<![CDATA[Optimisation of children z-score calculation based on new statistical techniques]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254555d5eed0c48442c54c

Background

Expressing anthropometric parameters (height, weight, BMI) as z-score is a key principle in the clinical assessment of children and adolescents. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts and the CDC-LMS method for z-score calculation are widely used to assess growth and nutritional status, though they can be imprecise in some percentiles.

Objective

To improve the accuracy of z-score calculation by revising the statistical method using the original data used to develop current z-score calculators.

Design

A Gaussian Process Regressions (GPR) was designed and internally validated. Z-scores for weight-for-age (WFA), height-for-age (HFA) and BMI-for-age (BMIFA) were compared with WHO and CDC-LMS methods in 1) standard z-score cut-off points, 2) simulated population of 3000 children and 3) real observations 212 children aged 2 to 18 yo.

Results

GPR yielded more accurate calculation of z-scores for standard cut-off points (p<<0.001) with respect to CDC-LMS and WHO approaches. WFA, HFA and BMIFA z-score calculations based on the 3 different methods using simulated and real patients, showed a large variation irrespective of gender and age. Z-scores around 0 +/- 1 showed larger variation than the values above and below +/- 2.

Conclusion

The revised z-score calculation method was more accurate than CDC-LMS and WHO methods for standard cut-off points. On simulated and real data, GPR based calculation provides more accurate z-score determinations, and thus, a better classification of patients below and above cut-off points. Statisticians and clinicians should consider the potential benefits of updating their calculation method for an accurate z-score determination.

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<![CDATA[qTorch: The quantum tensor contraction handler]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c181399d5eed0c48477553c

Classical simulation of quantum computation is necessary for studying the numerical behavior of quantum algorithms, as there does not yet exist a large viable quantum computer on which to perform numerical tests. Tensor network (TN) contraction is an algorithmic method that can efficiently simulate some quantum circuits, often greatly reducing the computational cost over methods that simulate the full Hilbert space. In this study we implement a tensor network contraction program for simulating quantum circuits using multi-core compute nodes. We show simulation results for the Max-Cut problem on 3- through 7-regular graphs using the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA), successfully simulating up to 100 qubits. We test two different methods for generating the ordering of tensor index contractions: one is based on the tree decomposition of the line graph, while the other generates ordering using a straight-forward stochastic scheme. Through studying instances of QAOA circuits, we show the expected result that as the treewidth of the quantum circuit’s line graph decreases, TN contraction becomes significantly more efficient than simulating the whole Hilbert space. The results in this work suggest that tensor contraction methods are superior only when simulating Max-Cut/QAOA with graphs of regularities approximately five and below. Insight into this point of equal computational cost helps one determine which simulation method will be more efficient for a given quantum circuit. The stochastic contraction method outperforms the line graph based method only when the time to calculate a reasonable tree decomposition is prohibitively expensive. Finally, we release our software package, qTorch (Quantum TensOR Contraction Handler), intended for general quantum circuit simulation. For a nontrivial subset of these quantum circuits, 50 to 100 qubits can easily be simulated on a single compute node.

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<![CDATA[The geographic evolution of political cleavages in Switzerland: A network approach to assessing levels and dynamics of polarization between local populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c24019bd5eed0c48409d5ba

Scholarly studies and common accounts of national politics enjoy pointing out the resilience of ideological divides among populations. Building on the image of political cleavages and geographic polarization, the regionalization of politics has become a truism across Northern democracies. Left unquestioned, this geography plays a central role in shaping electoral and referendum campaigns. In Europe and North America, observers identify recurring patterns dividing local populations during national votes. While much research describes those patterns in relation to ethnicity, religious affiliation, historic legacy and party affiliation, current approaches in political research lack the capacity to measure their evolution over time or other vote subsets. This article introduces “Dyadic Agreement Modeling” (DyAM), a transdisciplinary method to assess the evolution of geographic cleavages in vote outcomes by implementing a metric of agreement/disagreement through Network Analysis. Unlike existing approaches, DyAM offers a stable measure for political agreement and disagreement—accounting for chance, statistically robust and remaining structurally independent from the number of entries and missing data. The method opens up to a range of statistical, structural and visual tools specific to Network Analysis and its usage across disciplines. In order to illustrate DyAM, I use more than 680,000 municipal outcomes from Swiss federal popular votes and assess the evolution of political cleavages across local populations since 1981. Results suggest that political congruence between Swiss local populations increased in the last forty years, while regional political factions and linguistic alignments have lost their salience to new divides. I discuss how choices about input parameters and data subsets nuance findings, and consider confounding factors that may influence conclusions over the dynamic equilibrium of national politics and the strengthening effect of globalization on democratic institutions.

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<![CDATA[Basic color categories and Mandarin Chinese color terms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841bfd5eed0c484fcaa2e

Basic color terms used in Mandarin Chinese have been controversial since first discussed by Berlin and Kay in 1969. Previous studies showed much inconsistency on what should be considered as basic color terms in Mandarin Chinese. In the present study, we investigated categories of color rather than merely the color terms used by Taiwanese native Mandarin speakers. Using samples conforming to the Berlin and Kay survey, various colors were chosen from a collection of Natural Color System (NCS) colored papers and mounted on a piece of neutral gray card. The card was then mounted on a touch-screen, under D65 illumination. Thirty-two single-character color related Mandarin terms were selected from a Chinese character database according to frequency of use. Participants were required to select the color sample that matched the term by pressing a virtual button on the touch screen. The results show that certain terms can be directly correlated to basic color terms in English, comparable with the results of Berlin and Kay’s original study and those that followed. However, some terms, such as Mo (墨 ink), Tie (鐵 iron), and Cai (菜vegetable), show a wide spread of term maps and inconsistent use among subjects. Principle component analysis (PCA) procedures were used to analysis the commodity of data among subjects. The findings suggest that the basic color categories among Mandarin Chinese speakers are similar to those found in the World Color Survey (WCS), but are represented by wide-spread and inconsistent color terms among speakers.

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<![CDATA[Emergence of linguistic conventions in multi-agent reinforcement learning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c09944fd5eed0c4842ae9e0

Recently, emergence of signaling conventions, among which language is a prime example, draws a considerable interdisciplinary interest ranging from game theory, to robotics to evolutionary linguistics. Such a wide spectrum of research is based on much different assumptions and methodologies, but complexity of the problem precludes formulation of a unifying and commonly accepted explanation. We examine formation of signaling conventions in a framework of a multi-agent reinforcement learning model. When the network of interactions between agents is a complete graph or a sufficiently dense random graph, a global consensus is typically reached with the emerging language being a nearly unique object-word mapping or containing some synonyms and homonyms. On finite-dimensional lattices, the model gets trapped in disordered configurations with a local consensus only. Such a trapping can be avoided by introducing a population renewal, which in the presence of superlinear reinforcement restores an ordinary surface-tension driven coarsening and considerably enhances formation of efficient signaling.

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<![CDATA[Indoor Spatial Updating with Reduced Visual Information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b657fe

Purpose

Spatial updating refers to the ability to keep track of position and orientation while moving through an environment. People with impaired vision may be less accurate in spatial updating with adverse consequences for indoor navigation. In this study, we asked how artificial restrictions on visual acuity and field size affect spatial updating, and also judgments of the size of rooms.

Methods

Normally sighted young adults were tested with artificial restriction of acuity in Mild Blur (Snellen 20/135) and Severe Blur (Snellen 20/900) conditions, and a Narrow Field (8°) condition. The subjects estimated the dimensions of seven rectangular rooms with and without these visual restrictions. They were also guided along three-segment paths in the rooms. At the end of each path, they were asked to estimate the distance and direction to the starting location. In Experiment 1, the subjects walked along the path. In Experiment 2, they were pushed in a wheelchair to determine if reduced proprioceptive input would result in poorer spatial updating.

Results

With unrestricted vision, mean Weber fractions for room-size estimates were near 20%. Severe Blur but not Mild Blur yielded larger errors in room-size judgments. The Narrow Field was associated with increased error, but less than with Severe Blur. There was no effect of visual restriction on estimates of distance back to the starting location, and only Severe Blur yielded larger errors in the direction estimates. Contrary to expectation, the wheelchair subjects did not exhibit poorer updating performance than the walking subjects, nor did they show greater dependence on visual condition.

Discussion

If our results generalize to people with low vision, severe deficits in acuity or field will adversely affect the ability to judge the size of indoor spaces, but updating of position and orientation may be less affected by visual impairment.

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<![CDATA[Attraction Propagation: A User-Friendly Interactive Approach for Polyp Segmentation in Colonoscopy Images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da25ab0ee8fa60b80677

The article raised a user-friendly interactive approach-Attraction Propagation (AP) in segmentation of colorectal polyps. Compared with other interactive approaches, the AP relied on only one foreground seed to get different shapes of polyps, and it can be compatible with pre-processing stage of Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) under the systematically procedure of Optical Colonoscopy (OC). The experimental design was based on challenging distinct datasets that totally includes 1691 OC images, and the results demonstrated that no matter in accuracy or calculating speed, the AP performed better than the state-of-the-art.

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<![CDATA[A Parallel Distributed-Memory Particle Method Enables Acquisition-Rate Segmentation of Large Fluorescence Microscopy Images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7cfb0

Modern fluorescence microscopy modalities, such as light-sheet microscopy, are capable of acquiring large three-dimensional images at high data rate. This creates a bottleneck in computational processing and analysis of the acquired images, as the rate of acquisition outpaces the speed of processing. Moreover, images can be so large that they do not fit the main memory of a single computer. We address both issues by developing a distributed parallel algorithm for segmentation of large fluorescence microscopy images. The method is based on the versatile Discrete Region Competition algorithm, which has previously proven useful in microscopy image segmentation. The present distributed implementation decomposes the input image into smaller sub-images that are distributed across multiple computers. Using network communication, the computers orchestrate the collectively solving of the global segmentation problem. This not only enables segmentation of large images (we test images of up to 1010 pixels), but also accelerates segmentation to match the time scale of image acquisition. Such acquisition-rate image segmentation is a prerequisite for the smart microscopes of the future and enables online data compression and interactive experiments.

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<![CDATA[VennPainter: A Tool for the Comparison and Identification of Candidate Genes Based on Venn Diagrams]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dbab0ee8fa60b679a8

VennPainter is a program for depicting unique and shared sets of genes lists and generating Venn diagrams, by using the Qt C++ framework. The software produces Classic Venn, Edwards’ Venn and Nested Venn diagrams and allows for eight sets in a graph mode and 31 sets in data processing mode only. In comparison, previous programs produce Classic Venn and Edwards’ Venn diagrams and allow for a maximum of six sets. The software incorporates user-friendly features and works in Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Its graphical interface does not require a user to have programing skills. Users can modify diagram content for up to eight datasets because of the Scalable Vector Graphics output. VennPainter can provide output results in vertical, horizontal and matrix formats, which facilitates sharing datasets as required for further identification of candidate genes. Users can obtain gene lists from shared sets by clicking the numbers on the diagram. Thus, VennPainter is an easy-to-use, highly efficient, cross-platform and powerful program that provides a more comprehensive tool for identifying candidate genes and visualizing the relationships among genes or gene families in comparative analysis.

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<![CDATA[Effects of a Gentle, Self-Administered Stimulation of Perineal Skin for Nocturia in Elderly Women: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Crossover Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75d2f

Background

Somatic afferent nerve stimuli are used for treating an overactive bladder (OAB), a major cause of nocturia in the elderly. Clinical evidence for this treatment is insufficient because of the lack of appropriate control stimuli. Recent studies on anesthetized animals show that gentle stimuli applied to perineal skin with a roller could inhibit micturition contractions depending on the roller’s surface material. We examined the efficacy of gentle skin stimuli for treating nocturia.

Methods

The study was a cross-over, placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized clinical study using two rollers with different effects on micturition contractions. Participants were elderly women (79–89 years) with nocturia. Active (soft elastomer roller) or placebo (hard polystyrene roller) stimuli were applied to perineal skin by participants for 1 min at bedtime. A 3-day baseline assessment period was followed by 3-day stimulation and 4-day resting periods, after which the participants were subjected to other stimuli for another 3 days. The primary outcome was change in the frequency of nighttime urination, for which charts were maintained during each 3-day period.

Results

Twenty-four participants were randomized, of which 22 completed all study protocols. One participant discontinued treatment because of an adverse event (abdominal discomfort). In participants with OAB (n = 9), change from baseline in the mean frequency of urination per night during the active stimuli period (mean ± standard deviation, −0.74 ± 0.7 times) was significantly greater than that during placebo stimuli periods (−0.15 ± 0.8 times [p < 0.05]). In contrast, this difference was not observed in participants without OAB (n = 13).

Conclusions

These results suggest that gentle perineal stimulation with an elastomer roller is effective for treating OAB-associated nocturia in elderly women. Here the limitation was a study period too short to assess changes in the quality of sleep and life.

Trial Registration

UMIN Clinical Trial Registry (CTR) UMIN000015809

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