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Genetic and health issues emerging from sperm donation—The experiences and views of donors  [PDF]
Ken Daniels, Wendy Kramer
Advances in Reproductive Sciences (ARSci) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/arsci.2013.13003
Abstract: 164 previous sperm donors completed an online survey regarding health and genetic experiences and views. Results highlight that donors desire to act responsibly with recruiting facilities is not always possible. Objective: Obtaining the views and experiences of sperm donors regarding health and genetic matters. Design: Online survey. Setting: Not applicable. Participants: 164 previous sperm donors. Interventions: Not applicable. Main outcome measures: Views and experiences on health and genetic issues. Results: A variety of approaches are adopted by recruiting facilities in regard to selection and post-donation factors. The vast majority of donors said they had not been contacted by the facility they donated at to update their medical information, while almost one quarter of donors indicated that a health or genetic risk factor had occurred. A great majority of donors felt that they had not received any education or counselling on the potential curiosities of donor conceived people. Donors sought to be honest and open with staff but often found there were difficulties in doing so. Conclusions: Overall, donors indicate that they see donating as involving responsibilities to the offspring and families. The study highlights however that their ability to act responsibly is limited by some of the interactions or lack of them with the facilities where they donated. Implications for recruiting facilities need to be considered.
The Head Stands Accused by the Heart! —Depression and Premature Death from Ischaemic Heart Disease  [PDF]
Wendy Thomson
Open Journal of Depression (OJD) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojd.2014.32008
Abstract: Background: The purpose of this study was to examine whether clinical depression was associated with higher risk of premature death from ischemic heart disease (IHD). Risk for IHD was examined separately by sex and sub-type of depression in a long-term follow-up study spanning 49 years. Method: Patients who were diagnosed with depression in the Chichester/Salisbury Catchment Area Study were followed for 49 years. Observed deaths from IHD prior to the age of 70 were compared with rates that were predicted from historical data on mortality rates from 1960 onwards. Results: Significantly higher rates of death from IHD before the age of 70 were found among males with endogenous depression. Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of the broader literature on mortality from natural causes among patients with clinical depression. In terms of prevention, the results indicate that patients diagnosed with severe clinical depression particularly men at the very least warrant risk assessment with regard to IHD.
Infection Prevention Strategies in Cardiac Rehabilitation [1]—A Behavioral Intervention for Patients [2]  [PDF]
Wendy Bjerke
Health (Health) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/health.2017.99092
Abstract: Background: Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI) result in over 100 thousand deaths each year with one third of these deaths preventable via behaviors such as hand washing among health care providers in inpatient settings. Less research has been conducted in outpatient exercise settings such as cardiac rehabilitation (CR) among patients. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of HAI prevention strategies in a CR setting among patients. Methods: Observations of the frequency of hand washing among CR patients pre and post four HAI strategies including provision of HAI education and signs, hand washing demonstrations, a HAI prevention video, and hand sanitizer samples. Washing hands prior to CR (WI) was observed as well as washing hands prior to leaving the CR center (WO). Methods included recording the frequency of WI and WO among all patients at baseline and after each of the four interventions. Mean frequencies of WI and WO were compared among a mean of 22 - 43 CR patient visits over 12 weeks using descriptive statistics and t-tests to determine if changes were significant pre and post intervention strategies. Results: At baseline, no patients WI or WO during an outpatient CR visit. Post interventions 1 - 4, the percentage of patients WI and WO was 33 and 34, 32 and 26, 32 and 29, 33 and 22 respectively. At a one-year follow up, the percentage of patients WI and WO was 40%. Conclusion: Increases in frequency and the percentage of WI and WO were observed among patients meriting continued examination of HAI prevention strategies among patients in outpatient exercise settings such as CR.
Early Childhood Education: Difficulties Creating and Changing Daily Practice  [PDF]
Sonia Kramer
Creative Education (CE) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2014.56048

This paper is based on research carried out with children and adults at early childhood education institutions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The research goals were to identify interactions between adults and children and to rethink pedagogical practice. The theoretical-methodological framework was based on language and culture studies, the sociology of childhood and anthropology. After studying children and adults in different contexts and early childhood education public policies and practice, the results present challenges of changing and creating early education practices in difficult contexts, especially with regard to the creation and use of spaces intended for children. This is the focus of the text, which is structured in three sections. Section one presents the theoretical and methodological issues. The second section analyzes three case studies developed in public pre-schools situated in different cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Section three presents conclusions and priorities for intervention and change concerning children, adults and their interactions.

Training Needs of International Medical Graduates [IMGs] in Psychiatry  [PDF]
Milton Kramer
Open Journal of Psychiatry (OJPsych) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.44036
Abstract: The potential shortage of psychiatrists over the next 5 - 10 years has focused attention on the need to recruit more IMGs to fill the needs rather than use nurse practitioners or physician assistants. IMGs make up about 1/3 of first year psychiatry residents. These individuals have been found to provide services to the poor, the elderly and the psychotic. The quality of their medical work has been found to be satisfactory. The training needs of these physicians require an understanding on the part of their teachers that they come from cultures with different values that we have. The extended families of these primarily Asian residents clash with our strong commitment to individualism. It leads to a We-self rather than our I-Self. This difference coupled with the stress of leaving to come to a new culture is a great stress. Their exposure to psychiatry has been limited. They request and need more interview demonstration and practice, ore feedback and examinations. They should have help in accent reduction. They should be exposed to the working of the hospital by sitting on departmental and hospital committees. The faculty should extend their social opportunities and work as mentors on joint projects. Courses on the history of American culture should be taught. Psychotherapy for them should be encouraged as well as teaching medical ethics. They must become the major educational concern for the department that they are in.
Boundaries of Smooth Strictly Convex Sets in the Euclidean Plane R2  [PDF]
Horst Kramer
Open Journal of Discrete Mathematics (OJDM) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/ojdm.2017.72008
Abstract: We give a characterization of the boundaries of smooth strictly convex sets in the Euclidean plane R2?based on the existence and uniqueness of inscribed triangles.
Impaired barrier function by dietary fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) in rats is accompanied by increased colonic mitochondrial gene expression
Wendy Rodenburg, Jaap Keijer, Evelien Kramer, Carolien Vink, Roelof van der Meer, Ingeborg MJ Bovee-Oudenhoven
BMC Genomics , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-9-144
Abstract: Among the 997 FOS induced genes we observed less mucosal integrity related genes than expected with the clear permeability changes. FOS did not induce changes in tight junction genes and only 8 genes related to mucosal defense were induced by FOS. These small effects are unlikely the cause for the clear increase in intestinal permeability that is observed. FOS significantly increased expression of 177 mitochondria-related genes. More specifically, induced expression of genes involved in all five OXPHOS complexes and the TCA cycle was observed. These results indicate that dietary FOS influences intestinal mucosal energy metabolism. Furthermore, increased expression of 113 genes related to protein turnover, including proteasome genes, ribosomal genes and protein maturation related genes, was seen. FOS upregulated expression of the peptide hormone proglucagon gene, in agreement with previous studies, as well as three other peptide hormone genes; peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide and cholecystokinin.We conclude that altered energy metabolism may underly colonic barrier function disruption due to FOS feeding in rats.Non-digestible carbohydrates like fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) stimulate the gut microflora and are therefore presumed to improve host resistance to intestinal infections. For this reason non-digestible carbohydrates are added to a growing list of products, including baby-formula, bread, dairy products. Many studies, including our own, showed that non-digestible carbohydrates indeed affect intestinal microflora composition [1-3]. However, there is little evidence that these non-digestible carbohydrates strengthen intestinal resistance to infection and gut barrier function.For this reason, several strictly controlled rat infection studies were previously performed at our lab. These studies consistently showed that the non-digestible carbohydrates inulin, lactulose and FOS increase translocation of Salmonella to extra-intestinal organs [3-5]. A dose-dependent
Increasing Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-Bisphosphate Biosynthesis Affects Basal Signaling and Chloroplast Metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana
Yang Ju Im,Caroline M. Smith,Brian Q. Phillippy,Deserah Strand,David M. Kramer,Amy M. Grunden,Wendy F. Boss
Plants , 2014, DOI: 10.3390/plants3010027
Abstract: One challenge in studying the second messenger inositol(1,4,5)-trisphosphate (InsP 3) is that it is present in very low amounts and increases only transiently in response to stimuli. To identify events downstream of InsP 3, we generated transgenic plants constitutively expressing the high specific activity, human phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase Iα ( HsPIPKIα). PIP5K is the enzyme that synthesizes phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P 2); this reaction is flux limiting in InsP 3 biosynthesis in plants. Plasma membranes from transgenic Arabidopsis expressing HsPIPKIα had 2–3 fold higher PIP5K specific activity, and basal InsP 3 levels in seedlings and leaves were >2-fold higher than wild type. Although there was no significant difference in photosynthetic electron transport, HsPIPKIα plants had significantly higher starch (2–4 fold) and 20% higher anthocyanin compared to controls. Starch content was higher both during the day and at the end of dark period. In addition, transcripts of genes involved in starch metabolism such as SEX1 (glucan water dikinase) and SEX4 (phosphoglucan phosphatase), DBE (debranching enzyme), MEX1 (maltose transporter), APL3 (ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase) and glucose-6-phosphate transporter (Glc6PT) were up-regulated in the HsPIPKIα plants. Our results reveal that increasing the phosphoinositide (PI) pathway affects chloroplast carbon metabolism and suggest that InsP 3 is one component of an inter-organelle signaling network regulating chloroplast metabolism.
Salmonella induces prominent gene expression in the rat colon
Wendy Rodenburg, Jaap Keijer, Evelien Kramer, Susanne Roosing, Carolien Vink, Martijn B Katan, Roelof van der Meer, Ingeborg MJ Bovee-Oudenhoven
BMC Microbiology , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-7-84
Abstract: Salmonella affected transport (e.g. Chloride channel calcium activated 6, H+/K+ transporting Atp-ase), antimicrobial defense (e.g. Lipopolysaccharide binding protein, Defensin 5 and phospholipase A2), inflammation (e.g. calprotectin), oxidative stress related genes (e.g. Dual oxidase 2 and Glutathione peroxidase 2) and Proteolysis (e.g. Ubiquitin D and Proteosome subunit beta type 9). Furthermore, Salmonella translocation increased serum IFNγ and many interferon-related genes in colonic mucosa. The gene most strongly induced by Salmonella infection was Pancreatitis Associated Protein (Pap), showing >100-fold induction at day 6 after oral infection. Results were confirmed by Q-PCR in individual rats. Stimulation of Salmonella translocation by dietary FOS was accompanied by enhancement of the Salmonella-induced mucosal processes, not by induction of other processes.We conclude that the colon is a target tissue for Salmonella, considering the abundant changes in mucosal gene expression.Foodborne infections cause a major burden on public health services and represent significant costs in many countries. Salmonella infection is one of the most common and widely distributed foodborne diseases and can be severe in the young, the elderly and patients with weakened immunity. Salmonella enteritidis is the most frequently isolated serotype, causing gastroenteritis in most humans and systemic infection in a subpopulation [1,2]. The precise mechanisms of Salmonella-host interaction in vivo at early time points after infection are not well known. Insight in pathogen-induced host processes in vivo could help to design therapeutic or nutritional strategies for infection prevention. An approach to investigate the effects of a pathogen on host target cells is the use of microarrays that contain the whole genome of the host. This broad approach can reveal biological processes affected by the pathogen. The rat is a good model to study Salmonella enteritidis-induced host processes, sinc
Interacting electrons in a magnetic field in a center-of-mass free basis
Peter Kramer,Tobias Kramer
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0031-8949/90/7/074014
Abstract: We present an extension of the spin-adapted configuration-interaction method for the computation of four electrons in a quasi two-dimensional quantum dot. By a group-theoretical decomposition of the basis set and working with relative and center-of-mass coordinates we obtain an analytical identification of all spurious center-of-mass states of the Coulomb-interacting electrons. We find a substantial reduction in the basis set used for numerical computations. At the same time we increase the accuracy compared to the standard spin-adapted configuration-interaction method (SACI) due to the absence of distortions caused by an unbalanced cut-off of center-of-mass excitations.
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