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Usefulness of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide-Guided Treatment in Patients with Asthma-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Overlap  [PDF]
Taisuke Akamatsu, Toshihiro Shirai, Yuko Tanaka, Hirofumi Watanabe, Yoshinari Endo, Yukiko Shimoda, Takahito Suzuki, Rie Noguchi, Mika Saigusa, Akito Yamamoto, Yuichiro Shishido, Takefumi Akita, Satoru Morita, Kazuhiro Asada
Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases (OJRD) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ojrd.2018.81001
Background: Some patients present clinical features of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which has led to the recent proposal of asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) as a diagnosis. Fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is a candidate biomarker to diagnose ACO. We assessed the effect of an add-on treatment with budesonide/formoterol (BUD/FM) combination in patients with ACO, which was diagnosed by FeNO. Methods: This was a prospective, single-arm, open-label, before and after comparison study. Subjects included 83 patients with COPD who attended outpatient clinics for routine checkups at Shizuoka General Hospital between June and November 2016. All patients fulfilled the GOLD definition of COPD and were receiving long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) or LAMA/long-acting β2 agonist (LABA) combinations. After an 8-week run-in period, BUD/FM was added to the patients with FeNO levels of ≥35 ppb, defined as having ACO. For patients receiving LAMA/LABA, BUD/FM was added after the discontinuation of LABA. The modified British Medical Research Council (mMRC) score, COPD assessment test (CAT) score, spirometric indices, forced oscillation parameters, and FeNO were assessed before and after 8 weeks of BUD/ FM add-on treatment. Results: Twenty-four patients (28.9%) had FeNO levels ≥ 35 ppb, and 17 patients completed the study (mean age: 73 years and GOLD I/II/III/IV, 5/10/1/1). The mean CAT scores significantly improved (9.2 to 5.4, p = 0.015) and 10 patients (58.8%) showed ≥2 points improvement, a minimal clinically important difference. The mean FeNO levels significantly decreased from 63.0 to 34.3 ppb (p < 0.006). However, there were no changes in mMRC scores, spirometric indices, or forced oscillation parameters. Conclusions: FeNO-guided treatment with BUD/FM improves symptoms in patients with ACO.
Resistance coefficient during ice slurry flow through pipe sudden constriction
?. Mika
Archives of Foundry Engineering , 2010,
Abstract: Due to the adverse environmental effects of some commonly-used refrigerants, efforts are still underway to find new cooling mediumsthat would be safer to the ozone layer and would not increase the greenhouse effect. Ice slurry as a new ecological coolant suits theprocesses requiring the preservation of constant and equal temperature in the cooling process of the full section of the cooled solid. Thanks to that, ice slurry can find a wide potential application in such branches of industry, as heat treatment, materials engineering, or foundry. In this paper, flow systems which are commonly used in fittings elements such as diameter’s reductions in ice slurry pipelines, are experimentally investigated. In the study reported in this paper, the consideration was given to the specific features of the slurry flow in which the flow qualities depend mainly on the volume fraction of solid particles. The results of the experimental studies on the flow resistance, presented herein, enabled to determine the resistance coefficient during the ice slurry flow through the pipe sudden constriction. The volume fraction of solid particles in the slurry ranged from 5 to 30%. The recommended and non-recommended range of the Reynolds number for the ice slurry flow through the pipe sudden constriction were presented in this paper. The experimental studies were conducted on a few variants of the most common reductions of copper pipes. Further studies on the determination of the resistance coefficient in the remaining fittings elements of the pipeline were recommended in the paper as well as the further theoretical studies intended to determine the theoretical relations to calculate the resistance coefficient in all the fittings elements in the pipeline (on the basis of the experimental studies) and to elaborate the calculation pattern of the entire ice slurry system.
Decomposition of Point-Symmetry Using Ordinal Quasi Point-Symmetry for Ordinal Multi-Way Tables  [PDF]
Yusuke Saigusa, Kouji Tahata, Sadao Tomizawa
Open Journal of Statistics (OJS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ojs.2016.63033
Abstract: For multi-way tables with ordered categories, the present paper gives a decomposition of the point-symmetry model into the ordinal quasi point-symmetry and equality of point-symmetric marginal moments. The ordinal quasi point-symmetry model indicates asymmetry for cell probabilities with respect to the center point in the table.
Pitfalls and Remedies in DEA Applications: How to Handle an Occurrence of Zero in Multipliers by Strong Complementary Slackness Conditions  [PDF]
Toshiyuki Sueyoshi, Mika Goto
Engineering (ENG) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/eng.2013.55A005
Abstract: This study discusses a guideline on a proper use of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) that has been widely used for performance analysis in public and private sectors. The use of DEA is equipped with Strong Complementary Slackness Conditions (SCSCs) in this study, but an application of DEA/SCSCs depends upon its careful use, as summarized in the guideline. The guideline consists of the five suggestions. First, a data set used in the DEA applications should not have a ratio variable (e.g., financial ratios) in an input(s) and/or an output(s). Second, radial DEA models under variable and constant Returns to Scale (RTS) need a special treatment on zero in a data set. Third, the DEA evaluation needs to drop an outlier. Fourth, an imprecise number (e.g., 1/3) may suffer from a round-off error because DEA needs to specify it in a precise expression to operate a computer code. Finally, when a large input or output variable may dominate other variables in DEA computation, it is necessary to normalize the data set or simply to divide each observation by its average. Such a simple treatment produces more reliable DEA results than the one without any data adjustment. This study also discusses how to handle an occurrence of zero in DEA multipliers by applying SCSCs. The DEA/SCSCs can serve for a multiplier restriction approach without any prior information. Thus, the propesed DEA/SCSCs can provide more reliable results than a straight use of DEA.
Uncovering Executive Prioritization: Evaluating Customer Value Propositions with the Pairwise Comparison Method  [PDF]
Mika Yrj?l?
Journal of Service Science and Management (JSSM) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2015.81001
Abstract: Creating customer value is a managerial priority. The role of executives is to choose what type(s) of customer value to propose to customers in the form of a customer value proposition (CVP). The decision is a complex one, because executives have to compare and weigh concrete, measurable elements alongside abstract, subjective ones. The purpose of this paper is to identify themes relating to the use of the pairwise comparison method (PCM) as a tool for prioritizing customer value dimensions from the perspective of retail executives. As a result, this paper first highlights examples of PCM outputs, and second, identifies four themes that capture executive views of the PCM.
Mitochondrial Respiration Is Associated with Alloxan-Induced Mitochondrial Permeability Transition  [PDF]
Koichi Sakurai, Mika Itoh
Journal of Biophysical Chemistry (JBPC) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jbpc.2016.74008
Abstract: We previously showed that increased mitochondrial inner membrane permeability which is known as mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) is triggered by adding succinate in the presence of the diabetogenic agent alloxan. Here, our aim was to investigate whether mitochondrial respiration is associated with alloxan-induced MPT. After mitochondria isolated from rat liver were incubated with alloxan at 37°C for 5 min, the addition of succinate immediately triggered the MPT in the presence of rotenone. However, little or no induction occurred at incubation temperatures below 25°C. Malate/glutamate also triggered MPT by alloxan in the absence of rotenone. In mitochondrial suspensions containing alloxan, succinate accelerated oxygen consumption that was completely inhibited by cyanide. These results suggest that mitochondrial respiration is associated with the alloxan-induced MPT. Alloxan radical production was investigated using ESR spectroscopy. Mitochondria incubated with succinate and alloxan elicited low signal intensity (radical formation) that increased significantly in the presence of cyanide. When the incubation of alloxan with mitochondria after the addition of succinate, a little intensity of the signal was observed, but it was remarkably increased after the addition of cyanide. Ubiquinone analogues inhibited the MPT induction. These results suggest that the initiation of MPT is associated with alloxan redox cycling via an electron transfer process at a quinone-binding site in respiratory mitochondria.
Determination of Asymmetric Dimethylarginine and Symmetric Dimethylarginine in Biological Samples of Mice Using LC/MS/MS  [PDF]
Daisuke Saigusa, Mai Takahashi, Yoshitomi Kanemitsu, Ayako Ishida, Takaaki Abe, Tohru Yamakuni, Naoto Suzuki, Yoshihisa Tomioka
American Journal of Analytical Chemistry (AJAC) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/ajac.2011.23038
Abstract: Herein, we present a novel method of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) determination within biological samples using protein precipitation and LC/MS/MS. Chromatographic separation of ADMA and SDMA was successfully performed using a silica column with optimized elution, or mobile phase, of 10 mM ammonium acetate buffer H2O/methanol/acetonitrile (20/30/45, v/v) at pH 4. The calibration ranges were 0.50 – 50.0 μg●mL-1, and good linearities were obtained for all compounds ( γ > 0.99). The intra- and inter-assay accuracies with recoveries and precisions at three concentration levels (i.e. 1.00, 5.00 and 25.0 μg●mL-1) were better than 86.9% and 7.36%, respectively. The analytical performance of the method was evaluated by determination of compounds in plasma, urine and tissues from male BALBc/J mice. For the first time, we were able to characterize the distribution of ADMA, SDMA and ADMA/SDMA in plasma, urine, brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and spleen. Additionally, we demonstrated that the ADMA/SDMA ratio in the brain was approximately 10-fold lower than all the other biological samples. Only 10 μL of plasma, 1 μL of urine and about 25 mg of tissues were required. These results suggest that the developed methodology was useful in ADMA and SDMA determination within biological samples.
Neoliberal Politics of Innovation and its Opposition at the University: The Case of Finland
Mika Pekkola
International Journal of Inclusive Democracy , 2009,
Abstract: The current struggle waged for the control of education is of utmost importance for the Establishment bent on reshaping society according to market needs and ideals. No longer can we live under the illusion that higher education is a marginal phenomenon of importance only to those inside the academia; on the contrary, the new capitalist economy sets new standards for the exploitation of knowledge. As the neoliberal form of globalisation pushes industry to countries with cheap production costs and weak labour rights, universities have an important social task to fulfil: to provide material for “innovations” through research so that economic growth can be sustained. Geared to the corporate demands, these “knowledge factories” occupy a central role in the economy based increasingly on immaterial production. However, the appeal to the “social role” of the universities is, nothing more than manipulative rhetorics to hide the fact that it is not society as a whole which benefits from this state of affairs, but corporations seeking strategic advantages over their competitors on the markets.
Mika Saloheimo
Lex et Scientia , 2008,
Abstract: This paper presents a case study of one vertical demand-supply business net, which operates in the field of tourism business. Theoretical framework for analysis is drawn from Actors-Resources- Activities-model and classification of business nets. The case business net is described in terms of actors, internal activities and information transfer activities between actors. The objective of this analysis is to reveal the connected actors and activities in order to develop management mechanisms and supporting ICT systems to be applied in the business net environment. Generally, the supply-side and business network research in tourism is a less researched area. Further research stemming from this case study includes the refined definition of actors, resource identification and more detailed analysis of the inter-actor relationships in terms of resource ties, actor bonds and activity links.
The Culture of Othering: An Interrogation of Shakespeare's Handling of Race and Ethnicity in The Merchant of Venice and Othello
Mika Nyoni
Theory and Practice in Language Studies , 2012, DOI: 10.4304/tpls.2.4.680-687
Abstract: This paper examines Shakespeare's handling of the issue of race in The Merchant of Venice and Othello. Race and ethnicity have been at the epicentre of many conflicts throughout history and are still a headache even in 21st century societies that boast of unprecedented technological advancement and sophisticated lifestyles. Shakespeare has been used as a touchstone in many literary communities --playwrights and poets have been measured against his writings and the academic diets of pupils and students alike in many countries have always included a dish from the 'Chief Chef', Shakespeare. There is no doubt that his works entertained as well as educated many, his contemporaries as well as later generations across cultures but did the curriculum content of his education always inculcate virtue? Wasn't the entertainment at the expense of certain individuals because of their background? Through close reference to the plays The Merchant of Venice and Othello, this paper argues that the revered artist was racially intolerant and his writings may have influenced or helped to perpetuate racism and religious bigotry which was evident in The Slave Trade, Colonialism and the persecution of Jews in Germany. Some of his works therefore not only entertain(ed) and instruct(ed) but also misentertain(ed) and misinstruct(ed).
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