The transplantation of Schwann cells (SCs) holds considerable promise as a therapy for spinal cord injury, but the optimal source of these cells and the best timing for intervention remains debatable. Previously, we demonstrated that delayed transplantation of SCs generated from neonatal mouse skin-derived precursors (SKP-SCs) promoted repair and functional recovery in rats with thoracic contusions. Here, we conducted two experiments using neonatal rat cells and an incomplete cervical injury model to examine the efficacy of acute SKP-SC transplantation versus media control (Experiment 1) and versus nerve-derived SC or dermal fibroblast (Fibro) transplantation (Experiment 2). Despite limited graft survival, by 10 weeks after injury, rats that received SCs from either source showed improved functional recovery compared with media- or fibroblast-treated animals. Compared with media treatment, SKP-SC-transplanted rats showed enhanced rubrospinal tract (RST) sparing/plasticity in the gray matter (GM) rostral to injury, particularly in the absence of immunosuppression. The functional benefits of SC transplantations over fibroblast treatment correlated with the enhanced preservation of host tissue, reduced RST atrophy, and/or increased RST sparing/plasticity in the GM. In summary, our results indicate that: (1) early transplantation of neonatal SCs generated from skin or nerve promotes repair and functional recovery after incomplete cervical crush injury; (2) either of these cell types is preferable to Fibros for these purposes; and (3) age-matched SCs from these two sources do not differ in terms of their reparative effects or functional efficacy after transplantation into the injured cervical spinal cord., Peer-reviewed article, Published.Received March 17, 2014; revised March 18, 2015; accepted March 21, 2015.
Proceedings of 2015 RESNA Annual Conference. In recent years, more and more studies are using data logger technologies to document driving and physiological characteristics of manual wheelchair users. However, the technologies used offer marked differences in characteristics such as measured outcomes, ease of use, burden, etc. The objective of this study is to examine the extent of research activity that relied on data logger technologies for manual wheelchair users. We undertook a scoping review of the scientific and gray literature. Five databases were searched from January 1979 to November 2014: Medline, Compendex, CINAHL, EMBASE and Google Scholar. This review retained 104 papers. The selected papers document a wide variety of systems and technologies, measuring a whole range of outcomes. Of all technologies combined, 16.8% were accelerometers installed on the user, 14.8% were magnetic odometers or odometers installed on the wheelchair, 10.2% were accelerometers installed on the wheelchair and 8.67% were heart monitors. So, it is not surprising that the most reported outcomes were distance, speed and acceleration of the wheelchair, and heart rate. In the future, it may be necessary to reach a consensus on what outcomes are important to measure and how. Technological improvements and access to less expensive devices will probably make it possible to easily measure many important outcomes at relatively low cost., Conference paper, Published.
Proceedings from the 2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Drawing on the long debate about whether computer science (CS) and computational thinking skills are innate or learnable, this working group is based on the following hypothesis: The apparent innate ability of some CS learners who succeed in CS courses despite no prior exposure to computing is a manifestation of early childhood experiences and learning outside formal education., Peer reviewed, Conference paper, Published., K-12 education, Computational thinking
It is essential to design and operate buildings with good indoor air quality because people spend most of their time indoors, and their productivity, comfort, and health depend on the quality of the indoor air. In addition to other indoor-air-quality parameters, the indoor humidity and temperature need to be controlled and maintained within acceptable ranges. Elevated indoor humidity creates favorable conditions for mold growth and building-envelope damage. To minimize such problems, it is important that designers have insight into the level of indoor humidity that will be expected in a building operating under a set of conditions and weather variation. In this paper, the results of monitoring the indoor temperature and humidity of four apartment suites with different occupancy levels are reported. Along with the indoor-air conditions, the local outdoor temperature and relative humidity were continuously measured for 17 months. The indoor humidities in the suites were correlated with the outdoor air temperature and humidity and compared with the European indoor climate class model. Moreover, the indoor-temperature and relative-humidity ranges in the four suites during the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons and the temperature and humidity distributions within the suites are reported., Technical papers, Published. Received: September 22, 2014. Accepted: February 03, 2015. Published online: April 21, 2015.
Proceedings of 2017 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS) in Las Vegas, NV, USA, USA on 9-11 Oct. 2017.We address security and trust in the context of a commercial IP camera. We take a hands-on approach, as we not only define abstract vulnerabilities, but we actually implement the attacks on a real camera. We then discuss the nature of the attacks and the root cause; we propose a formal model of trust that can be used to address the vulnerabilities by explicitly constraining compositionality for trust relationships., Conference paper, Published.
Recent progress in microscopy technologies, biological markers, and automated processing methods is making possible the development of gene expression atlases at cellular-level resolution over whole embryos. Raw data on gene expression is usually very noisy. This noise comes from both experimental (technical/methodological) and true biological sources (from stochastic biochemical processes). In addition, the cells or nuclei being imaged are irregularly arranged in 3D space. This makes the processing, extraction, and study of expression signals and intrinsic biological noise a serious challenge for 3D data, requiring new computational approaches. Here, we present a new approach for studying gene expression in nuclei located in a thick layer around a spherical surface. The method includes depth equalization on the sphere, flattening, interpolation to a regular grid, pattern extraction by Shaped 3D singular spectrum analysis (SSA), and interpolation back to original nuclear positions. The approach is demonstrated on several examples of gene expression in the zebrafish egg (a model system in vertebrate development). The method is tested on several different data geometries (e.g., nuclear positions) and different forms of gene expression patterns. Fully 3D datasets for developmental gene expression are becoming increasingly available; we discuss the prospects of applying 3D-SSA to data processing and analysis in this growing field., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 8 February 2015; Accepted 1 May 2015.
In recent years, with the development of automated microscopy technologies, the volume and complexity of image data on gene expression have increased tremendously. The only way to analyze quantitatively and comprehensively such biological data is by developing and applying new sophisticated mathematical approaches. Here, we present extensions of 2D singular spectrum analysis (2D-SSA) for application to 2D and 3D datasets of embryo images. These extensions, circular and shaped 2D-SSA, are applied to gene expression in the nuclear layer just under the surface of the Drosophila (fruit fly) embryo. We consider the commonly used cylindrical projection of the ellipsoidal Drosophila embryo. We demonstrate how circular and shaped versions of 2D-SSA help to decompose expression data into identifiable components (such as trend and noise), as well as separating signals from different genes. Detection and improvement of under- and overcorrection in multichannel imaging is addressed, as well as the extraction and analysis of 3D features in 3D gene expression patterns., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 4 July 2014; Revised 10 September 2014; Accepted 10 September 2014.
Critical boundaries in the early Drosophila embryo are set by morphogenetic gradients. A new quantitative study shows that the placement of one such boundary is more accurate than the gradient thought to set it. Genetic analysis of the accuracy of the process implicates a gene not previously thought to be involved., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X International Conference, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA, December 02, 2007. This climate sensitivity study studied the effects of wind-driven rain on a stucco-clad wall using the advanced hygrothermal model, hygIRC. Simulations were made for a number of climatic conditions based on the moisture index (MI) and for amounts of water deposited inside a wall. The moisture index was based on the severity of a given climate in respect to wall assemblies and the degree of wetting and drying to which a wall could potentially be subjected. The failure criteria was the concurrent occurrence of temperature and relative humidity above thresholds of 10oC and 95% respectively, for ninety consecutive days at any location of wood-based material in the wall., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X International Conference, Clearwater Beach, FL., Dec. 2-7, 2007, pp. 1-15.
Quality of botanical products and raw materials is important to manufacturers, regulators, researchers, and consumers. Many modern botanical quality-assurance schemes set specifications for select phytochemicals and measure against those specifications as one determinant of quality. While numerous publications describe procedures for determining compounds of interest in plant species, few methods have been systematically evaluated for accuracy, precision, or reliability, and often the analysis of finished products is not within the scope of the method. Hydrastis canadensis L., commonly referred to as Goldenseal, is an economically important North American medicinal plant that has been subject to adulteration in commerce. The phytochemicals of interest in the plant are the alkaloids hydrastine, berberine, and canadine. Of interest is also palmatine, an alkaloid found in potential adulterant species but not in goldenseal. In this study, goldenseal materials in raw, capsule, and tablet form, including an Echinacea/ Goldenseal combination product, were extracted with acidified water and acetonitrile and their hydrastine, berberine, canadine, and palmitine content determined by HPLC. The analytical method was optimized and evaluated in a single-laboratory validation study. Calibration curves for hydrastine and berberine were linear from 10 to 150 μ g/mL. The limits of detection for palmatine and canadine were determined to be 0.5 μ g/mL, which translates to detection of levels of 0.004% w/w in test samples. Chromatographic resolution was achieved for all analytes in an isocratic 12.5-min chromatographic run employing a binary mobile phase. Triplicate determinations performed on 10 test materials by two analysts on 3 days resulted in relative standard deviations ranging from 0.9% to 3.4%., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
This paper aims to present a novel smart grid adaptive energy conservation and optimization engine for smart distribution networks. The optimization engine presented in this paper tries to minimize distribution network loss, improve voltage profile of the system and minimize the operating cost of reactive power injection by switchable shunt Capacitor Banks using Advanced Metering Infrastructure data. Moreover, it performs Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) and minimizes transformer loss. To accurately weight the optimization engine objective function sub-parts, Fuzzification technique is employed in this paper. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is applied as Volt-VAR Optimization (VVO) algorithm. Substantial benefits of the proposed energy conservation and optimization engine include but not limited to: adequate accuracy and speed, comprehensive objective function, capability of using AMI data as inputs, and ability to determine weighting factors according to the cost of each objective sub-part. To precisely test the applicability of proposed engine, 33-node distribution feeder is used as case study. The result analysis shows that the proposed approach could lead distribution grids to achieve higher levels of optimization and efficiency compared with conventional techniques., Article, Published. Received 27 November 2015, Revised 13 April 2016, Accepted 16 April 2016, Available online 26 April 2016.